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Super Eagles Pay For Sloppy Start In Defeat To England

Super Eagles Pay For Sloppy Start In Defeat To England

By Semiu Osho in London:

The Super Eagles of Nigeria lost 2-1 to the Three Lions of England in Saturday’s pre-World Cup friendly played at Wembley Stadium.


Goals from Gary Cahill and captain Harry Kane gave England a 2-0 half-time lead before Alex Iwobi reduced the deficit early in the second half.

This is England’s second win against the Super Eagles in three meetings (one draw at 2002 World Cup).

Zenith Ziva

The game was England’s 18th meeting against a African teams, and the Three Lions have won 12 and drawn six

It was a game of two halves as England dominated the first half and deservedly took the lead before the Super Eagles responded with a better second half performance.

Up next for the Super Eagles is another friendly game against Czech Republic in Austria on Wednesday, June 6, while England will face Costa Rica on Thursday.

Francis Uzoho made the first save of the in five minutes as he parried away Kevin Trippier’s well struck free-kick for a corner.

England profited from the corner as Cahill jumped highest and headed into the top corner to put his side 1-0 up.

England almost doubled their lead on 12 minutes but Uzoho made a smart save from Ashley Young’s shot from range.

A minute later Sterling made a smart turn to beat Leon Balogun but saw his chip go just wide.

England continued to create chances and should have gone 2-0 up on 20 minutes but Bryan Idowu made a vital block.

In the 33rd minute England broke off a pass from Young to Sterling whose attempted cross was punched away by Uzoho.

England’s persistent pressure eventually paid off as they went 2-0 up on 39 minutes through Kane whose well drilled low shot on the edge of the Eagles box sneaked underneath Uzoho’s body into the back of the net.

On the stroke of halftime Victor Moses had the Eagles’ first attempt on goal but his left-foot strike was well saved by Jordan Pickford.

At the start of the second half the Eagles made four changes with John Ogu, Tyronne Ebuehi, Oghenekaro Etebo and Kenneth Omeruo all replacing Ogenyi Onazi, Shehu Abdullahi, Leon Balogun and Joel Obi.

The changes eventually paid off as Iwobi pulled a goal back on 47 minutes as he slotted in off Ighalo’s initial effort which hit the post.

The Eagles almost levelled up a minute later but Kane cleared off the line.

Eric Dier went close for England from a corner on 63 minutes only to see his header go just wide.

Mikel tried a long range effort from distance on 69 minutes but Pickford made a good save.

Troost-Ekong came to the rescue of the Super Eagles on 79 minutes as he made a superb block to deny substitute Danny Welbeck who was bearing down on goal.

Marcus Rashford had a chance to extend England lead on 86 minutes from Fabian Delph’s smart cross but his header went just over the bar.

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  • We need a miracle to excel in Russia.

  • udovic 3 years ago

    Ogenyi Onazi killed our game in the first half giving away d ball 2 England on so many occasions. Mikel n Iwobi were outstanding.
    Though we lost bt am satisfied with their second half display. Hw i wish Onazi will be d one to be dropped from that team.

  • Chairmanfemi 3 years ago

    I don’t even know how to start analyzing this annoying match sef. ONAZI and JOEL cost us those goals. They couldn’t hold the midfield cuz of that,Mikel couldn’t move forward to give the Attackers the pass and the battle was lost. I don’t know if JOHN OGU offended Coach GR, he’s far better than those two players(Onazi and Obi) and he’s talented given the fact that he can also play @the Left Full back. He(Ogu) covered up so many times for Idowu. Despite the fact that we lost,Some names still shone brillantly well e.g
    FRANCIS UZOHO: This guy is turning into a World-Class keeper gradually. Made several excellent saves in the match.

    Mikel Obi: He was too much for the English team to handle throughout the match

    John Ogu
    Tyronne Ebuehi
    Kenneth Omeruo
    Odion Ighalo

  • Chairmanfemi 3 years ago

    Great Second half display though.

    • I agree with you Chairmanfemi. I am a fan of Joel Obi. For one playing for an elite club in an elite league I expected a bit more from him. Maybe he just had an off-day.

      • Paschal 3 years ago

        I think hes too eager to impress. Almost all matches he has played he keeps wounding people anyhow to the point of heading and wounding his own team mate. Look at that funny shot…hes too much in a hurry to impress and ends up commiting stupid fouls. Sad

      • Israel Akinlawon 3 years ago

        How many times off day. All 4 games Joel Obi has played so far (Poland, Serbia, DR Congo and England) are abysmal.

  • Abdulrazak 3 years ago

    Gernot Rohr will NOT start Onazi in any of our matches at the World Cup. As for Joel Obi, he will not be in the final 23.

  • Genart rohr should be sacked if he fails to drop onazi and Joel obi. If he plays those two in d World Cup, we will be 5-0 down in the first half. Since he doesn’t want to bring nwakali, he should play us etebo and ogu, Tyrone won my support in this game

  • Critique of Super Eagles Departments vs England

    Defence (5/10): 1ST Half – Kept busy by England but held its own for long periods. Could easily have conceded more than 2 goals. 2nd half – Firm, solid and assured.

    Midfield(4/10): 1ST Half – Anonymous; failed to string decent passes together. Lethargic displays; Zero creativity. 2nd half – Stable, less sloppy with passes/possession.A bit more fluid. Still, midfield creativity is below par.

    Attack (4/10) : 1ST Half – Lacked bite, pace and purpose; offered sporadic and tame goal threats. 2nd half – better creativity; directness, but not overly impressive.

    Substitutes introduced (6/10): 2nd half – impactful, pace, purpose, energy, solid. They were the catalysts for Nigeria’s much-improved performance in the second half.

    Report Summary: The Super Eagles were thoroughly outclassed by England in the first half but Mikel and co. came out with more purpose and conviction in the second half (thanks to the substitutes and change in formation).

  • Whisky 3 years ago

    Just hope we do well at d World Cup. Am sorry we don’t have a team yet.. Ogu and etebo better than onazi and joel

    • For those of us calling for the head of coach GR over the omission of Nwakali should understand that he was in the initial list of 35 that pruned down to 30. The match against ATM was played after the list was submitted to FIFA. Unless there is an injury to the final 23, no name can be added according to FIFA rules.

      • Israel Akinlawon 3 years ago

        And if any change would be made due to injury to any of the 23, it should be from the pool of initial 30 names submitted to FIFA.

  • I don’t know why Mr rohr likes the wrong players obi and onazi can’t even complete a single pass they don’t deserve to be in Russia

  • richard yemi 3 years ago

    Am just angry with this man for dropping junior lokosa.

  • adeyemi 3 years ago

    some people still trust uzoho after conceding 5 goals in a friendly

    ezenwa should retain is spot

    • Bomboy 3 years ago

      @ Adeyemi, thank u !

    • Uzoho needs time to mature, its so glaring that he is intimidated by big occasions.
      The 3 marches he has started so far, shows that he is always shivering in goal.
      He is young and still have time on his side, he shud be drop from the team and let the matured goal keepers in the team take over.

    • Thanks a lot Adeyemi! I didn’t want to talk since but it is clear that Ezenwa should be our number 1. Even Brian Idowu…his wing was the weak link and England saw that in the first half. His normal position is right back or centre back.

  • Ogu more than deserves to be on the plane..i withdraw any reservations i might have had for the young man..And Joel Obi and Onazi more than deserve to be watching the World cup from the comfort of their homes..they have been given more than enough opportunity

    • Bomboy 3 years ago

      Nigerian fans! The next game u will be singing another tune. So Ogu is now a super star suddenly and Joel a villian. Ha ha ha.

      • bro am a fan of Joel but his performances have been a let down we have to admit that

  • Abdul andah 3 years ago

    My Verdict: tyronne ebuehi and awaziem should play from right back in the world cup.
    Shehu Abdul should go back to his normal position (midfield).
    Joel obi (automatic drop out of world cup).
    Mikel agu is better than him.

    • Tyrone Ebuehi is a complete modern day right back. Remember he thwarted Angel di Maria when he came on against Argentina. Today, he made Ashley Young look like a robot in the second half. Its true that names don’t play football but the team . Little wonder Benfica signed him before end of season.

      • 100% Ebuehi should start. We do need to find a system that release him to do damage. I say 3 CB and wing backs – to allow him run that flank defensively and offensively… think Cafu, Kyle Walker… this lad could eventually emulate these guys

  • Bomboy 3 years ago


    i) The 1st half was the WORST performance I have ever seen any Super Eagle team play in my entire life. They had too much respect for their opponent and no self belief. England scored 2 goals, not because they played well, but because we played very badly. 1st half rating for the entire team: 2/10.

    ii) We still have a problem with the goalkeeping department. Frances Uzoho made some fantastic saves but the 2nd goal was clearly his fault. He made similar blunders against Poland and Serbia, though the ref wasn’t competent enough to see that the ball had crossed the line. VAR would have counted them as goals. Uzoho isn’t ready for the world cup.

    iii) We have a good bench. The introduction of Etebo, Ogu and Omeruo at the begining of the 2nd half turned out to be a good idea from the coach.

    iv) Our fans are wonderful. Kudos to them for cheering the boys all through the game.

    v) We can still do well at the World Cup. Maybe it is a good thing we lost the game. It will make the lads sit up. In fact, i have a feeling we will win our next friendly game.

  • Kester Ebohon 3 years ago

    I did not watch the match but have never been impressed with Omazi. I am not surprised by the uncomplimentary comments about Onazi’s performance. He played true to type. You can’t give what you don’t have. Omazi has got nothing to offer.

  • 2nd half we went to 3 centre-halves a much better formation [with 2 wing backs, 3 central midfielders and “second striker” playing off a main striker] so a 3-5-1-1 instead of a straightforward 3-5-2. Based on what I saw, my starting team would be
    GK Uzoho – give him a chance
    CB Balogun, Omeruo and Ekong
    Wing Backs Ebuehi and Echejile [not sure about Mr. Idowu]
    CM John Ogu, Etebo and Mikel. The captain should not be seen as our number 10 – his thinking is too slow for that role
    2nd Striker: Ahmed Musa [speed and unpredictability]
    Main Striker: Alex Iwobi [who was our best player today]

  • Abraham 3 years ago

    the problem is not onazi,as for Joel obi? there is a big question mark about him. genot rohr play an outdated 4-4-2 formation in the first half and we paid for it, hope he has learn his lesson.

    • Fortesam 3 years ago

      @Abraham that wasn’t a 4-4-2. Ighalo was our lone striker. We started with a 4-2-3-1 formation.

  • Jaganza 3 years ago

    WE do not have a World Cup team

  • First of all let me commend etebo, ogu, Mikel troost, and “especially” iwobi for their footbal acumen. My postprandial view on d first half gimmicks shld neither alter my sense of judgement nor modify my fallacious dispensation! So I’d rather wait to see what d effect of d post friendly outcome would bring on d final team selection. But before that I must posit my implied and expressed argument that Joel obi, onazi and probably elderson echiejile shld not make the final list. Over and out!

  • Fortesam 3 years ago

    Going by performances during the last four friendly matches played by the Super eagles I think Joel Obi will not make it to the world Cup. He has not brought anything special to improve the team. As such I don’t see him displacing any of the midfielders that GR used during the qualifiers.

  • Onazi is not a player,onazi is the worst Nigeria player he can’t make a pass shame you foolish man

  • Comedian Lele o 3 years ago

    I am a fan of onazi but lately he has not live to expectations, on Joel Obi, did he bribe NFF, why was he named at all, the guy is Not a footballer for me, plz pair Etebo, ndidi and Mikel in midfield… Please coach Rohr drop Joel Obi abeg.

  • festus kome ERUEME 3 years ago

    Joel obi should be drop and likewise onazi ogenyi from making the final 23man super eagles list to Russian 2018.Simply bcos of their floppy and unprofessional passes to opponent!Coach Rohr take note!

  • Is these the best players that can represent us? No Midfield, no communication. To think that these guys were paid in full, it’s totally absurd… God bless Iwobi and the second half substitute guys. We need a mirace to get out of the group.

  • Why are we always complaining, even germany lose to common austria. Its just a game to finetune our team.

    • Nicolsen 3 years ago

      Do u speak German to know that they are .not complaining..

  • Ogie samuel 3 years ago

    Uzoho ebuehi balogun ekong aina etebo Mikel ndidi/ogu moses iwobi ighalo first eleven

    • Why Ighalo sir? I watched him at Watford and his form in China is not better. Poor ball control, just about OK with link up play, low goal return for a central striker… Iwobi up top please – and give the wild card Simy Nwankwo a go

      • onwajunior 3 years ago

        @Yomi have u watched Simy play for Crotone? He is worse than Ighalo. Don’t worry shebi Rohr will soon give him chance, the same way ppl were clamouring for Joel Obi when they’ve not watched his game lately and later regretting after watching this match, is the same way they’ll destroy Simy. I’ve watched Simy’s game countless times and he is not what u ppl think. Even Sadiq Umar is way better….well, we’ll see how things turn out!

  • we cant go anywhere with this kind of performance,,Is either the team improves or ready to be bundled out in de group stage.

  • balorx 3 years ago

    pls let uzoho be the no.1 . if ezenwa was in poll england would have scored more,believe me he was impressive in the match.the first goal was onazi fault.akpeyi would even be worst,so lets just build uzoho confidence.
    wow am impressed with john ogu.i never saw him play until today,he has similar attributes just like giroud,he is a surebet going to russia.

  • Damian iyke 3 years ago

    It was horror watching the trio of shehu abdullahi,Joel obi nd ONAZI disgrace their footballing careers at a citadel like Wembley stadium. Football world watching. ONAZI chief culprit alongside Joel.fifth columnists in the Super Eagles Team.What a Shame…!!

  • akindayo benson 3 years ago

    Mikel was fantastic

  • Abdulrazak 3 years ago

    Gernot Rohr always, always makes decisions that are in the best interest of the team. I bet he’s seen enough to cull Joel Obi and possibly Ogenyi Onazi from the team. Their performance tonight made the inside of my skull ache.

  • Cappaccino 3 years ago

    Before this match began I twitted on the timeline of @thenff and @ngsupereagles that the team selection was too defensive minded. Using Onazi and Joel Obi behind Mikel won’t produce good attack flair. A team who is totally defensive minded will not produce good results, they will keep giving away the ball because they have no plan for attack just defend. If anyone noticed when the English team got the ball they were all about getting the ball to attack. If the coach had played Etebo alongside Onazi, Etebo would be able to carry out that deepline play making from defence to attack just like Mikel did 2010 and 2014 World Cup though he (ETEBO) is naturally an attacking Midfielder.
    But if I were the coach this would be my Tactical Formation. UZOHO; Ebuehi, Ekong, Balogun, Idowu; Ndidi(dm) Mikel(cm); Victor Moses, Iwobi(Amf), Musa; Igahlo. The team did well but they carried the wrong mentality into the game, a careful and too defensive Mentality but they were able to come out to attack in the 2nd half. Someone tweeted that Nigeria was loosing due to respect for their colonial masters. God help us. #Soarsupereagles