Four things Super Eagles must avoid against Guinea-Bissau on MondayPublished: March 26, 2023
The die is cast and the Super Eagles must revive their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying hopes by beating Guinea-Bissau on Monday in the reverse fixture of their qualifiers.
The hosts, ranked 118th on the world by FIFA, made history by beating 1-0 Nigeria for the first time on Friday at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja.
So what should Jose Peseiro and his team overcome in the Group A Africa Cup of Nations qualifier to bounce back from the current slump?
Allnigeriasoccer.com provides the answers.
1. Bad Positional Play
In the embarrassing 1-0 defeat to The Djurtus of Guinea-Bissau, the positional play of the Super Eagles players culminated in the decisive goal conceded in the first half.
The central defensive players were wrong in trying to beat the offside trap.
It was no different from the manner in which they conceded against the Central African Republic with Leon Balogun and William Troost Ekong the central defensive partners on that occasion.
There was a moment during the match that a total of Super Eagles players were clustered in one section of the Abuja stadium.
That is something that must be avoided in the return fixture on Monday.
2. Early Nerves
The Super Eagles must quickly find their way to scoring quite early in the match on Monday and avoid finishing the first half without a positive outcome.
Unfortunately the last time they lost disgracefully at home, they won the reverse fixture.
The Eagles must not allow the probable home fans' hostility or in-game antics of the home side to get on their way to achieving a victory.
Unless there is a blatant refereeing injustice done to the Super Eagles or in the event of unforeseeable circumstances capable of making the game not to continue, no other excuses will be accepted by the Nigerian football faithful.
3. Individual Play
In the first leg of their fixtures on Friday, the Super Eagles missed several goal-scoring chances.
It was also clear to see that there were a few times the players were individualistic in their approach.
Napoli hitman, Victor Osimhen had a clear cut chance to score when he was in a good position but Moses Simon who had the ball went for glory an ended up scuppering that opportunity as he could not find the target.
Both players had some words for each other on the pitch as a result of that.
The team are playing for a common cause and the Africa Cup of Nations is the objective. There will be no high profile individual prizes won on the basis of these fixtures.
4. Lack of commitment
The players of the Super Eagles were addressed by the Nigeria Football Federation President Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau on Saturday who pointedly told them that form and football abilities will not be the only criteria for future invitations to the national team.
A disappointed NFF boss further stressed that should any player be physically, psychologically or mentally unable to honour any invitations, such a player is free to decline.
Gusau's admonition is a true reflection of how Nigerians feel over the result on Friday. Hopefully that could mark the return of the once dreaded Super Eagles on the African continent.
Not every player or indeed other professionals would prefer the approach taken by Gusau but it was the hard truth told.
The players must see this as a challenge to show their qualities and also restore some respectability on the continent and not be overly saddened by the disappointment of the Nigeria Football Federation President.
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