The match was tedious and half-arsed with Nigeria securing qualification before the match even started. It was a display of meaningless long balls, terrible passing, and laughable tactical coordination. The game was heading for a draw before the big target-man Paul Onuachu, on for the senior man, Kelechi Iheanacho struck the winner in the dying moments of the game. We discuss some of the major talking points from the game.
Nigeria Qualified For AFCON 2022 Before the Match Started
Before the Nigerian game kicked off, the other two members of Group L faced off. Lesotho hosted Sierra Leone and played a goalless draw which meant that the Super Eagles on 8 points had qualified no matter the result of the game. What a way to light a fire in the bellies of the players just before the game! Anyway, it sets up another dead-rubber game for the Nigerians against Lesotho on Tuesday.
AFCON Football at Its Finest
Loose passes, inaccurate passes, aimless long balls, passes into no-one, low-quality shots, poor decision making, and the tactical coordination of non-professionals. It is understandable when International matches lack rhythm and the cohesion of club football due to little time spent in training but AFCON football continues to mortify with its badness.
Wingmen Disappoint Against the Squirrels
Alex Iwobi missed this fixture after testing positive to Covid-19 and Gernot Rohr continues to call up free agent Agent Ahmed Musa but the men on the flanks for Nigeria did not impress at all. Samuel Chukwueze was floating throughout the game except on set-pieces. Henry Onyekuru was struggling to make an impact and the 2 men forward (Osimhen and Iheanacho) had to take matters into their hands. Nigeria kept finding their wide men, and in good positions to do damage but they were not up for it.
Draw Specialists Almost Strike Again
Benin Republic has a reputation for being specialists at drawing matches. Their last 6 home outings have seen 4 draws. They are grinders. Tough to beat. It was almost the case in this game until a dying minute winner from Onuachu.
Big Men Doing Big Men Doings
Victor Osimhen is a 6ft3 wrecking ball that keeps swinging at you from the first minute. Even when he is having a bad game, his zeal and willingness to continue having a go are incredible. He missed chances to score but he was Nigeria’s major threat. He had a beautiful header saved by Saturnin Allagbe. Also had a poke from a corner saved but then another big man headed the rebound in. Paul Onuachu was the hero of the day. The 6ft5 striker has 27 goals for Genk this season and he stepped up when his country needed him. Big men!