The Super Eagles showed heart; grit and character, as they rallied from a goal down to secure a spirited 4-2 win over Lesotho in their second group L match of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The young Eagles put on display, a show, that characterizes nothing like we’ve seen in recent years. Victory in Maseru ensured that Gernot Rohr and his technical crew can rest easy as Nigeria close the year on a high; three points clear atop the standing.
So, here are our four talking points from the win over Lesotho:
Victor Osimhen is a BEAST
The 20 year-old scored a brace and also grabbed two assists, fitting reward for a man of the match worthy performance, but even more was his presence in the Eagles attack.
Osimhen carried the team from the front, a sign of leadership this team needs in the absence of Odion Ighalo and Mikel Obi. And while he may be eyeing Rashidi Yekini’s crown, what Osimhen has got is the heart of a Young Obafemi Martins to go with it.
Joe Aribo is at HOME in the SUPER EAGLES MIDFIELD
The midfielder plays with the maturity that precedes him, bare in mind it’s just his second competitive game on African soil and in one of the most volatile temperate to play football.
With a certain rhythm to his movement Aribo danced with the ball, picking out passes behind the opposition and allowing Wilfred Ndidi stick to a simple task and Alex Iwobi all the freedom upfront. All these in spite of the terrible playing surface.
Eagles DEFENSE can’t Take FLIGHT
Since before the 2018 World Cup through to AFCON 2019, Gernot Rohr’s team has shown a clear weakness in defending aerial balls, both goals in Maseru proved it yet again.
William Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun have been the culprits in the past and the former was again susceptible in Lesotho’s first goal.
While Chidozie Awaziem’s miscued kick and own goal may have seem quite unfortunate, it stemmed from the inability to deal decisively with the swung in crosses.
Gernot Rohr SHOWING SIGNS
The German has never been regarded or known for his tactical ingenuity, but Sunday’s win gave a hint, that he perhaps has the juice.
His selection was spot on, bringing on a well rested Awaziem who’s a utility defender to play as Right back and cover the CB when the back line frequently switched to a 3-man defence.
Ola Aina has proven to be the team’s most cerebral wing-back and those bursting runs down the flanks proved enterprising, Osimhen will tell you so.
Rohr’s substitutions for the first time since the victory over Cameroon at the AFCON in Egypt were also bang on.
It was conservative, Like for like, but well thought out and worked out presto against the caliber of opposition.
Rohr certainly deserves praise for the performance of the team.