Coach Gernot Rohr and his Super Eagles side suffered a shock 0-1 loss to the wild beasts of the Central African Republic at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, Nigeria in their 3rd FIFA World Cup qualifying game. The Super Eagles of Nigeria team had to play the game with unfamiliar faces in midfield, the absence of players like Alex Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi, and Oghenekaro Etebo was felt, the likes of Joe Aribo, Frank Onyeka, Ejuke, Moses Simon could not produce the creativity and the spark that the Super Eagles midfield needed to drive the attack.
Below are reasons why the Super Eagles of Nigeria lost to a lowly rated Central African Republic team;
Rohr's Lack of Playing Pattern
Super Eagles of Nigeria coach, Gernot Rohr's inability to create or develop a playing pattern for the Super Eagles of Nigeria affected the team, the Nigerian players looked to run aimlessly on the pitch in the game against a defensive-minded Central African Republic team, in the past, the coach seems to have depended on the ability of the players in midfield and luck to force out victories for Nigeria, but this time around luck didn't shine on Nigeria as they failed to utilize the few chances they got, the players on the wings failed to deliver precise crosses, the team also showed they lacked understanding and teamwork as they seemed to play individual games with an effort to try and impress the coach.
If The Coach had developed a pattern the absence of Iwobi, Ndidi, and Etebo would not have been evident because he would have easily fitted in players that would have fitted into his pattern, but a rather confused Rohr played Joe Aribo out position, Joe Aribo who we all know as a creative number 10 was played as a defensive midfielder, automatically denying the Super Eagles of its creative powerhouse.
Overconfidence on The Part of the Super Eagles
Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr went in this match unbeaten in group C, the Super Eagles of Nigeria had beaten their previous opponents Liberia and Cape Verde and felt there is no way they could lose to the Central African Republic in Lagos, so they were overconfident and underrated their opponents who shocked them with a lone goal victory over Nigeria.
Lackadaisical Attitude of the Super Eagles Attack And Defense
The Attack of the Super Eagles was nothing to write home about with Victor Osimhen squandering chances, there was no connection or understanding between Osimhen and Iheanacho, one would wonder if they were playing together for the first time, between both players they managed to play 10 shots at goal with none of the 10 shots being on target.
They failed to show the type of form that made either first-team players at their European Clubs, most time when Iheanacho was in a better scoring position Osimhen failed to pass to him but instead ballooned the ball into the stands. Even Taiwo Awoniyi who came on as a sub squandered a glorious chance to puy Nigeria 1 nil up.
The defenders in central defense for the Super Eagles were poor, twice in the second half they were caught off guard by the Central African Republic attackers during counter-attacks and both incidents resulted in goals only for one of them to be ruled out for offside, the pairing of Leon Balogun and Leon William Troost-Ekong was a catastrophe for the Super Eagles, if they were playing against a better attacking side they would have easily conceded more than 3 goals.
The Nigerian goalkeeper was not any better because his positioning in the events that led to the goal was very poor Rohr's decision to bench first-choice goalkeeper Maduka Okoye for Francis Uzoho was a wrong one, and if the Super Eagles do not improve and play every game like it's their last they are less likely to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, because if they can qualify as winners of this group they will be facing one of the best team's in Africa, that will not hesitate to punish you the Super Eagles with the slightest chance they get.
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