The Super Eagles of Nigeria came from two goals down to defeat Argentina 2-4 in a thrilling encounter in Krasnodar, Russia.
Ever Banega and Sergio Kun Aguero had earlier on put La Albiceleste ahead, before a brace from Alex Iwobi and one goal each from Kelechi Iheanacho and debutant Brian Idowu gave Gernot Rohr’s men the victory.
This victory puts the Super Eagles in good shape as they kick-start their Russia 2018 World Cup preparations.
The Franco-German tactician played out a different game plan with three central defenders and two attackers up front.
Here is are some observations we feel Rhor should take note of:
With Rohr’s 5-3-2 formation, it is necessary to have quick, attacking full backs. It was clearly evident in the game against Argentina; especially in the first half that the Super Eagle’s offensive pressure was lame and counted for nothing. The full backs should basically serve as wings backs who will immediately join the attack and also recover in good time. Credit to debutant, Brian Idowu whose pace and accuracy helped him get is first goal in the green and white colours.
Expansive and spatial passes will aid the 5-3-2-formation work better. As opposed to the first half, the second have recorded more purposeful and expansive passes which gave the Eagles a better transition to the half of their opponents. Clustering around an area, even when in possession of the ball will put pressure on the team and hamper a good sense of attack to the opponent’s goal area.
A goalkeeper who has a decent distribution of the ball is key. Most times, a ball-playing goalkeeper is a big plus to his side. Reason being that his services and distribution of the ball to his on field team mates sets the pace of the attack. The decision of who to serve the ball to from goal in a 5-man defence set-up is of great importance.
More on team cohesion. Its fair to say this was a friendly game, but lets not take anything out from this intelligent Argentinian side who will surely be drowning in their sorrows for losing the game, despites taking the lead in an exceptional fashion.
The Super Eagles really need to work on team’s cohesion and creativity from the middle of the pack. For the first half, there was poor stringing of passes which was the reason the ball seldom got to the centre forwards, and lack of goals on target. Second half was better in terms of team play, surprisingly majority of the lads on the pitch by then are not regulars and are playing with each other for the first time.
Take a good look at Uzoho, Ebuehi and Idowu. After Daniel Akpeyi’s shambolic first half, Francis Uzoho came on to prove that he is better at coordinating the defense-line, pulling crucial saves and good on ball distribution from goal. The Deportivo La Coruna save hands should be in line if the likes of Ikechukwu Ezenwa fail to keep up or the ostensible return of Vincent Enyeama fails.
Tyron Ebuehi and Brian Idowu replaced Ola Aina and Shehu Abdulahi in the second period. The duo had a decent input as wingbacks, leading to Idowu getting a debut goal and with Ebuehi’s display, he has put Elderson Echiejile under compression to come up with his best or get the bench.