Nigeria 4 Vs Argentina 2 5 things we learnt from Super Eagles comeback win

These are five things we learnt from Super Eagles 4-2 win over Argentina.

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John Mikel Obi, Alex Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi and John Ogu play The Super Eagles of Nigeria beat Argentina 4-2 in a friendly game
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The Super Eagles of Nigeria delivered a fantastic performance to come back from 2-0 down to beat Argentina 4-2.

Ever Banega and Sergio Aguero gave Argentina a 2-0 lead before Kelechi Iheanacho pulled one back for Nigeria from a freekick.

The Super Eagles returned for the second half in a different element and fired three goals to seal a comeback win.

 

These are five things we learnt from the game

1. Nigeria have their 2018 FIFA World Cup goalkeeper

Francis Uzoho, Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, Bryan Idowu, Tyronne Ebuehi play Francis Uzoho (shirtless in this photo) might have secured his 2018 FIFA World Cup ticket with his performance (Instagram/Francis Uzoho)
 

The game was a tale of two halves for the goalkeeping unit of the Super Eagles. Daniel Akpeyi started in goal for Nigeria and had a terrible outing. His mistake, embarrassingly touching the ball with his hand outside his area led to a freekick from which Argentina scored their first goal. The South Africa-based goalkeeper could not read the game and was a suspect all through.

It was a different story in the second half following the introduction of Deportivo de La Coruna goalkeeper Francis Uzoho. Although he was not tested, Uzoho exuded confidence that spread throughout the whole team. He dominated his 18-yard-box well, came out well for set-piece and had a nice grip on the ball.

Now it’s getting clearer who will be Nigeria’s first choice goalkeeper at the World Cup.

2. New fullbacks discovered

Alex Iwobi and Bryan Idowu play Bryan Idowu celebrates with Iwobi after scoring on his Super Eagles debut (EPA)

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The full-back positions have been Achilles heel for the Super Eagles throughout Gernot Rohr’s stint as coach. While Shehu Abdullahi has impressed so far, he is naturally a midfielder while Elderson Echiejile has been making Nigerian football fans cringe for more than a year.

After a nervy first half, Rohr introduced Tyronne Ebuehi and Bryan Idowu and these substitutions changed the game.

Ebuehi was very intelligent in his play, marking and making runs down the right while Idowu posed a huge attacking threat from the left.

The performances of these two fullbacks will be pleasing to Rohr who now has better options ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

3. Rohr tries out three-man defence

Super Eagles boss Rohr has started experimenting ahead of the 2018 World Cup and against Argentina, he used a 3-5-2 formation for the first time as Super Eagles boss.

In their post-match comments, Super Eagles skipper John Mikel Obi and midfielder John Ogu admitted that they had difficulties adapting to it but the second half performances show that the 3-5-2 formation is a system that can work for the Super Eagles.

4. Kelechi Iheanacho back to his creative best

Kelechi Iheanacho, William Troost-Ekong and John Ogu play Kelechi Iheanacho scored one goals and made two against Argentina (EPA)

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For the first time since his days with the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria, Iheanacho was back to his creative best.

As a midfielder, Iheanacho won Player of the Tournament when Nigeria won the 2015 U-17 World Cup in Chile before he was converted to a number nine at Manchester City.

His predatory skills and good sense of positioning have helped him score some fantastic goals but his lack of pace and physical presence often leave him isolated upfront.

Against Argentina, Iheanacho operated as a false nine, dropping to midfield to get involved with the play. Two assists and a goal crowned his fantastic performance.

5. Ogu should be a starter

With two solid 90-minute performances for the Super Eagles in just four days, John Ogu has shown why he should be a starter for the Super Eagles.

He started his first game under Gernot Rohr in the 1-1 draw with Algeria on Friday, November 10. In that game he was Man of the Match.

Although he’s still struggling with fitness and exertion from the game against Algeria, Ogu still held his own against Argentina.

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