Sunday, October 10, 2021

he result of the match-up between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Central Africans, defied all predictions, even those of the most ardent fans of the Central Africans!

Nobody could have put his/her money on what became the eventual result of the match, considering the class difference between both teams. But that is soccer for you. The game could be very unpredictable, and, that is what makes the game interesting. It is not abnormal in soccer that "Goliath" can be beaten some times by a "David"!

How did the game go soccer technically?

The Central Africans, predictably, put up a 'double' defensive wall against the Super Eagles' offensive armada! Considering the class difference, playing offensive soccer would have been 'suicidal' for them. Certainly, the Super Eagles with a gaffer as experienced as Gernot Rohr, saw it coming tactically from their opponents. And, certainly, were primed to counter their less illustrious opponents' defensive tactics.

But the execution of their supposedly all- out assault against the Central Africans, was less efficient!

Playing against a defensive opponent, the 'assaulting ' team would do well to take the game to the opponents in a fast tempo manner, exploiting their superior skills to maximal advantage. This way, they would likely disorganise their opponents' defensive wall, and create chances for themselves or force their opponents to commit infringements around their vital area, which could be utilised to score goals.

This is a fundamental rule in a game of this nature. But, unfortunately, the Super Eagles chose to 'take it easy' with their opponents during the opening stanza. Since this rather 'calm' way of soccer by the Super Eagles, didn't rattle their opponents, who were apparently, primed by their coaches, to defend massively in order to at the very least limit the 'damage' from the presumed rampaging Super Eagles, they grew in confidence, and, sporadically, started foraging into the Super Eagles vital area.

Their sporadic adventurism finally paid off in the 91st minute, with an unlikely goal scored by an attacker, who was disadvantaged with regards the ball, with regards two big Nigerian central defenders. The attacker, surprisingly, got the better of the two big centre-backs, from a rather disadvantaged position !

There were other things wrong with the Super Eagles performance on that day: they didn't play as a unit for greater periods of the game. Their game was disjointed, and this was to the advantage of their opponents. May be more training sessions would resolve that problem.

Also the team lacked creativity! Playing against a defensive team, the importance of creativity cannot be over-emphasised!

Much as the Nigerian defenders did generally well, one noticed that one of the central defenders was tired towards the end of the game. This certainly contributed to the goal of the opponents.

The Super Eagles players, particularly the attackers, must shoot more accurately in front of goal.

Considering their status and their potency in front of goal in their various club sides, one would want to believe the 7th of October, 2021, was an "off day" in their performance!

The Super Eagles must try to take advantage of set pieces: corner- kicks, free-kicks . The Super Eagles had many corner-kicks, but fluffed all of them. They have the calibre of players who can make a difference in this regard. These kinds of advantages should be utilised against an opponent, more especially, one, who gives little or no spaces, by being ultra-defensive. Against such opponents, the game could be won that way!

In conclusion, if the Super Eagles of Nigeria take note of the above mentioned points in their performance in the first game against the Central Africans, as well as other tips from the coaching crew, in the return leg, on a good pitch in Doula, Cameroun, on the 10th of October, 2021, yours sincerely, believes they can turn the table against their opponents!

If that is achieved, the home loss would be considered a soccer 'accident' that can happen somewhere along the line.


Also at the link below, one can come into contact with a number of items, needed to support the Super Eagles at "Cameroun 2021" !!!!!


The book "Super Eagles of Nigeria : Pride of Africa", can also be gotten through the author. One can contact the author through : nwokeji.cyril@gmail.com Please note in this case, payment of postage costs will be necessary