Sunday, September 16, 2018
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t was indeed thrilling; a thrilling friendly match victory against Liberia. The Super Eagles exhibited virtually none of the weaknesses yours sincerely highlighted in their encounter against the Seychelles, for almost the duration of the entire match. They were indeed super! A delight to watch!!!!!

The Super Eagles exhibited an uncanny possession football/ near flawless positional play-oriented soccer artistry! They were super confident in their style of play. A self-assured performance they have not exhibited in quite a number of games. They were certainly not under the impression of the presence of President George Weah. They took the game to the Liberians, controlled it, and showed the Liberians that as far as soccer is concerned, they were still some light years away from Nigeria!

President George Weah, surprisingly, took to the field as a soccer player, in a match meant to honour him and to formally and finally retire his illustrious jersey: number 14! President Weah's presence, was more beneficial to the Liberians and to the game, from the point of view of publicity and public relations, than from a soccer point of view! With all due respects to President Weah, a hitherto soccer player whom yours sincerely admires so much, the Liberians would have helped their case better if they had substituted him earlier on. At 51 years, he obviously had no business playing a fully- fledged international match for about eighty minutes!

The Super Eagles players gave a good account of themselves. Goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, was virtually on holidays as he was adequately covered up by the defenders. The back four were rock solid and gave the Liberian attackers no chance at all. Chidozie Awaziem, at right back, was good. He put up a second brilliant display at that position, for the second consecutive match. One has the impression he played better at right back than in his traditional central defensive position for the Super Eagles. The young man Jamilu Collins, at left back, showed lots of talent, gusto, courage and determination, for a player who made his debut for the Super Eagles! He is essentially a raw talent that needs further refinement before becoming a regular for the Super Eagles. He is certainly a player for the future! Semi Ajayi, at centre-half back, was good.

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In the match against Seychelles, he came in at right back, late in the game, and gave a good account of himself. In his first two matches thus for the Super Eagles, he has posted impressive performances, one is sure the technical crew has taken note of that. The stand-in skipper: John Ogu, at left half- back, was super! This further confirms my belief that John Ogu, despite being a defensive mid-fielder, would serve the Super Eagles' purpose better as a defender. In my earlier article titled:" Nigeria 1, Algeria 1: A dead rubber encounter!", one highlighted the reasons for this personal conviction.

The mid-fielders were brilliant, and were the lynch pin of Nigeria's superb domination of the match. The four of them: Wilfred Ndidi, Joel Obi, Etebo Oghenekaro and Kelechi Nwakali were super!

Joel Obi, is gradually settling- in to the rhythm of the Super Eagles, after a four- year absence from the team. He essentially directed proceedings from central mid-field. Kelechi Nwakali, gave a good account of himself in his debut match for the Super Eagles. Etebo Oghenekaro, was as usual super in his display. Wilfred Ndidi, was at his confident best!

Kelechi Iheanacho, who came in as a substitute in mid-field, did his best. Me thinks Kelechi Iheanacho, given his somewhat physical 'disabilities', vis -a- viz Coach Rohr's apparently preferred physical attributes for a striker, would serve the Super Eagles better as an offensive mid-fielder. He has the requisite skills, what he lacks is experience. Through constant exposure he would get the necessary experience needed to be a quintessential offensive mid-fielder.

The offensive players were good. Henry Onyekuru, who played wide on the left, was super! The goal he scored was not an easy one. He beautifully collected a cross field pass and expertly took out three Liberian defenders with deft body movement before making hay with a right-footed canon shot! He has certainly signalled to the technical crew his intentions to be taken seriously as a candidate for the wide offensive positions.

Simeon "Simmy" Nwankwo, was also good. Though essentially a raw talent, but one with lots of potentials! He reminds me of late Rashidi Yekini, of blessed memory. The Italian league in which he plays, will certainly help him to develop. He is certainly a good substitute to Odion Ighalo. He got the second goal, through a glancing header, exploiting as a consequence, his physical attribute -his height- to maximal advantage!

The other substitute players did well. Kudos to them!

In conclusion, with two consecutive victories under the belt in this new cycle, the Super Eagles of Nigeria, have certainly started this phase of their development well. One hopes they keep it up!


Also at the link below, one can come into contact with a number of items, needed to support the Super Eagles at "RUSSIA 2018" !!!!!