|Tuesday, May 28, 2019|
he score of Nigeria 1, Ukraine 1, reflected the relative strengths of both teams in the thrilling encounter. Both teams chose for offensive soccer, more especially the Nigerians who needed to win to confirm their passage into the knock-out stage of the competition.
It was clear the Nigerian coach learnt a thing or two from the lost match to the USA. He made the needed re-adjustments in the team. As a consequence, the team played better.
The defence, particularly the central defensive line, was better organised. Although a situation where the defenders gave so much space to an opposing attacker to head home a lobbed cross deep into their "six yard" box, literally unchallenged, does not speak well about good defensive organisation! This was how the Ukranians got their only goal. Luckily, that was the only major mistake of the Nigerian defence throughout the match.
The mid-field, was somewhat hungrier than in the second match. We saw bits and pieces of improved creative mid-field display, and of course the usual high work rate. The mid-field can still make do with better creativity in the next encounter!
The offensive front was more effective than in the encounter with the Americans; this was certainly due to the improvement in mid-field.
The Nigerian goalkeeper, was as usual, good during the match.
Going forward, the Flying Eagles still need to improve their game. The competition, has gotten to the crucial/vital knock-out stage! At this stage all teams give their all, knowing that any slip at this stage could herald a team's elimination.
The Flying Eagles specifically need to be better organised at the back. The usual defensive naiveties, slip-ups, frailties, loss of concentration should be eliminated, at this stage of the competition.
The mid-field should continue to exhibit the usual high work rate and of course tinged with more creativity. One noticed the Flying Eagles have players skilful enough to bring about the needed creativity in mid-field. The problem lies with their ability to remain cool-headed under difficulties, look around to find a free teammate and try to make a good pass. And not get intimidated by the onrushing opponents and make a hasty pass, usually to an opponent. This is where the problem lies with the Nigerian mid-field and consequently results in lack / insufficient creativity in mid-field!
In other words, the players need to be more confident on the ball! If they play more confidently, they would make better passes; creativity would increase and the opponents would be dislodged and goals would come!
In conclusion, the Flying Eagles, have the potential to go far in the competition. What they need most is the confidence and belief in themselves. Nigerians are solidly behind them!
UP FLYING EAGLES! UP NIGERIA !!!!!!!!
The book "Super Eagles of Nigeria : Pride of Africa", can also be gotten through the author. One can contact the author through : [email protected] Please note in this case, payment of postage costs will be necessary