What an exciting weekend it was, for Nigerian football! The earlier disappointment of our U-17 women team crashing out of the World Cup in Jordan was only short lived, as our darling Super Eagles did what their predecessors have never done – beating the Zambian team in their own backyard.
I will begin this post-analysis of the Zambia-Nigeria fiery encounter by looking at the selection and tactics employed by Coach Rohr versus the suggestions I made in the pre-analysis of this game. My earlier analysis can be seen here: http://spotkik.com/2016/10/09/how-we-can-win-in-ndola-iheanacho-and-iwobi-as-danger-men/
I had warned that the Zambians will pay dearly should they underrate the duo of Iwobi and Iheanacho, and had predicted that both of them will do the damage for the Super Eagles, as I rightly titled that analysis, “What we must do to beat Zambia – Iwobi and Iheanacho as danger-men”
In my opinion, this was a risky formation, but it delivered the goods when it mattered most. Risky in that, Ndidi was not only playing an unfamiliar role but Echiejile has not been up to par in recent times. And Omeruo is only returning after a long spell away from the Super Eagles. This kind of defense should have been well covered with midfielders with defensive and holding capabilities as I had suggested. Which is why Ikeme pressured by the Zambians. Rohr started Simon in the right midfield. Simon had moments of brilliant flashes as expected. But I would have rather brought him in later in the game instead. Ideye provided an assist for Ihenacho and worked hard for the team. I think we were lucky to escape with a win. All the same, Rohr is the coach, I’m not taking anything away from him or the boys. Let’s celebrate this victory and hope that we make the necessary amends before we take on Algeria in Uyo, come November 12th.
With Algeria only managing a 1-1 draw at home to Cameroon, Nigeria now lead the “Group of Death” withe 3 points. We must endeavor to stay ahead this way, else dropping points at the early stage can cost us dearly in future. We must beat Algeria next and hope that Zambia upsets Cameroon by holding them to an away draw. The earlier we start doing the calculation the better. We now know better from experience.
Fix-It Suggestion: We need to start searching seriously for strong wing backs, especially the Left Full Back. I still believe Musa Muhammed is up to the task as a Right Back, especially with Victor Moses flourishing in a new role in front of him. I want to see more Igiebor partnership with Mikel. And should Success Isaac honor the next invitation, it would be a great thing to have the trio of Iwobi, Iheanacho and himself at the front. There is definitely room for improvement in this team.
Super Eagles Scorecard vs Zambia: 65%