Monday, January 15, 2024
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ours sincerely seizes this opportunity to wish my numerous readers and mankind the very best of 2014. May the good and kind Lord in his infinite mercy grant us our numerous hearts' desires. Amen!!!!!

The nations' cup opener between Nigeria and Equitorial Guinea, on paper, should have been virtually a "no contest"! If for nothing else for the relative ratings of both countries on the CAF and FIFA scales. But as usual with soccer, the unpredictable/unexpected happened, and the Super Eagles shared the 'spoils' with their relatively lowly rated opponents.

How did yours sincerely see the match ?

One saw a Super Eagles' team that lined-out in an 'unusual' 4-3-3 formation. Apparently, the late arrivals of the replacement players - the strikers, made it impossible for Coach Peseiro to use the prefered 4-4-2 formation; that involves the use of a twin-strikers' partnership. Thus, he had to use a formation that favoured using Victor Osimhen as the sole deepest striker in the 4-3-3 formation.

The formation featured:

Goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali in goal. His first big match for Nigeria.

Ola Aina, was at right-back.

Zaidu Sanusi, was at left-back.

Stand-in Skipper William Troost-Ekong, was at centre-back. He returned to the team after an absence of one year.

Semi Ajayi, was at left-half back.

The defensive mid-fielder was Frank Onyeaka.

The box-to-box midfielder was Alhassan Yusuf.

The creative midfielder was Alex Iwobi.

The wingers were : Simon Moses and Ademola Lookman.

And, of course, Victor Osimhen was the centre-forward.

The Super Eagles started well, disorganising their opponents with their fluid wing offensive play. The mid-field was solid to realise this scenario. The first yawning opportunity was fluffed by Zaidu Sanusi, when he failed to direct the ball to an empty net, in a Super Eagles' offensive push down the right flank. Subsequently, the opponents regained their 'composure' and made life more difficult for the Super Eagles, with their probing mid-field displays that resulted in half chances being created for their players in the Super Eagles' vital area.

During one of those forays into the Super Eagles' vital area, the failure of the Super Eagles defenders to deal with their opponents forays, resulted in an opponent's attacker, left alone with much space in the Super Eagles' vital area. He utilised this opportunity maximally to score against the Super Eagles.

Considering the sensitivity of Nigerians to goalkeeping issues, for obvious reasons, the Nigerian goalkeeper was in no way to blame for the goal. The defenders simply didn't do their job well!

Nigeria reacted quickly and well with a deserved equaliser by Victor Osimhen, off a beautiful lob by Ademola Lookman.

In the second half, there was a renewed vigour by Nigeria to win. But in the process, two beautiful opportunities to win the match were fluffed by Victor Osimhen!

The substitutes: Joe Aribo, Bright Osayi-Samuel, Calvin Bassey, Samuel Chukwueze and Paul Onuachu, did their best, but couldn't make a difference.

In conclusion, it was a match the Super Eagles were suppossed to/ and could have won. They had four decent/open chances to score, but took only one! Their opponenets had just one decent chance, and made hay!

The Nations' cup competition, has just started. It is still early days to make predictions. But regardless of the drawn opening's match, the Super Eagles' ambitions going into the tournament is still intact, in my considered opinion. It is going to be a long drawn-out and tortuous battle to be Africa's champions, considering the extent of soccer development on the continent of Africa.

Yours sincerely thinks that in this mix, the Super Eagles of Nigeria, given their assests, are ready for the challenge!



and "Super Eagles of Nigeria in the New Era", also presently on sale on www. Amazon.com


Also at the link below, one can come into contact with a number of items, needed to support the Super Eagles at "COTE D' IVOIRE 2023" !!!!!


The book "Super Eagles of Nigeria : Pride of Africa" and "Super Eagles of Nigeria in the New Era" can also be gotten through me using my e-mail address as contact point. [email protected]