|Thursday, June 13, 2019|
t was indeed a thrilling encounter notwithstanding the 'obstacles': an inclement weather condition, it rained buckets for all of ninety minutes; a friendly match situation, before a major tournament, none of the players wanted injuries, and, apparently, didn't go all out for it; and, apparently, consequently, no goals were scored!
The above militating factors notwithstanding, it was a very thrilling encounter; and the fans had full value for their hard-earned nickel!
The Zimbabweans one must confess, were quite impressive! They have certainly come a long way in soccer. They have come a long way since they were hammered 5-1, by the Super Eagles, in Abuja, in 2005, in a 2006 World cup qualifier. They proved they deserve their place at "Egypt 2019" !
For the purposes of this piece, we shall focus on the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
The Super Eagles were quite impressive, notwithstanding the goalless outing. They showed traits of a well- organized team!
The Nigerian goalkeeper was virtually on 'holidays' throughout the encounter. This was thanks to a well- organised rear(defensive) guard, under leadership of "Field Marshal" Kenneth Omeruo, who was centre-half back. He was ably assisted by "Commander- General" Leon Balogun, who was brilliant on that day. And of course, the impressive full-backs: Ola Aina and Jamilu Collins, in tow; together they formed an impregnable defensive organisation that hardly gave the Zimbabwean attackers a chance!
The mid-field under command and control of the come-back, tactically erudite, Skipper John Obi Mikel, was quite impressive. The Super Eagles dominated the mid-field, and, consequently, had superior ball possession; some chances were consequently created, which unfortunately were fluffed. Skipper Mikel Obi gave a "five-star performance", and showed all and sundry why he is still very much relevant to the Super Eagles' project. He was deservedly rewarded with the "Man of the match" award!
Etebo Oghenekharo, alias "Turbo Engine", was impressive as defensive mid-fielder. The other member of the mid-field trio, Alex Iwobi, alias "the dancing Krekel, was ok on that day.
The offensive weelde occasionally showed flashes of brilliance. But their efforts didn't result in goals.
Samuel Chukwueze, was brilliant on the right flank. The Zimbabweans found him to be such a threat that he was constantly tackled; and somewhat injured during the match.
The "Adventurous" Samuel Kalu, on the left wing, was good on that day.
The centre-forward, Paul Onuachu, was also good. Although he missed a sitter of an opportunity that could have given Nigeria victory. He is certainly not an opportunistic striker. He has lots of skills, and is a good team player.
In conclusion, it was a good performance by the Super Eagles of Nigeria. Yours sincerely like fellow Nigerians, hope they would replicate such or even better performances in Egypt, and of course the needed goals to boot!
UP SUPER 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