2023 AFCONQ : Five observations from Super Eagles' 1-0 loss to Guinea-BissauPublished: March 24, 2023
Nigeria's Super Eagles could have faced Monday's return leg of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea-Bissau with the knowledge that they were just a win away from qualifying for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.
Sadly, the Eagles were embarrassed by the Guinea-Bissau side with a shocking 1-0 defeat at the MKO Abiola stadium and must not lose any other game again in the qualification campaign.
Allnigeriasoccer.com presents the takeaways from the match.
1. Poor central defensive performance
The duo of Kelvin Akpoguma and Calvin Bassey were in sixes and sevens and several times were caught off their lines with one of such culminating in the goal scored by Mama Balde.
Akpoguma looked like he was going to have a good game as he made the first tackle of the game but after that, things were not as first expected.
Bassey was even worse on the evening.
2. Poor crosses
The Super Eagles wingers, Ademola Lookman and Samuel Chukwueze, had average performance on the day especially Lookman whose efforts at either making good crosses or shooting at goal were mostly wide off the mark.
Chukwueze somewhat tried to make amends in the second half before he was subbed off.
3. Pressing game from Guinea-Bissau
There was no fear in the approach of Guinea-Bissau as they matched the Eagles in every aspect of the game.
Victor Osimhen were denied the spaces to exploit.
Only Alex Iwobi, and Samuel Chukwueze on few occasions, found the freedom to create chances which the attackers did not utilize.
4. Osayi-Samuel takes right back spot
Bright Osayi-Samuel was making only his second international appearance for Nigeria but his performance on his position seemed to be one of very few positives from the shocking loss.
The Fenerbahce defender was defending and also proving to be an outlet for the team.
In the second half, he was at the opposition half a couple of times and created chances that were not taken.
5. Ndidi's worst Super Eagles game
Wilfred Ndidi is widely regarded as the most reliable Super Eagles player after Victor Osimhen.
But the Leicester City midfielder had a very difficult evening.
He was not at his best whilst protecting the defence neither was he able to help find goals at the other end.
Ndidi was particularly at fault for missing a gilt-edged chance in the opposition box when he tried to find a teammate.
Aiming at the goal was a better option.
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