The Super Eagles of Nigeria lost her first game at the ongoing 2022 World Cup qualifier as the Wild Beast of Central African Republic defeated Nigeria by one goal to nil.
Nigeria 0 vs 1 CAR: Four things we learnt in the 2022 World Cup qualifier[Pulse Contributors Opinion]
What are the lessons learnt after Nigeria was humiliated by a low rated Wild Beast of the Central African Republic in the 2022 World Cup qualifier played in Lagos on Thursday?
The match which was played at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on Thursday 7 October 2021 saw Karl Nagamda 91 minute goal made the difference as the Wild Beast snatched the maximum three at the stake.
Here are the lessons learnt from the game
1. CAR won their first game in fifteen outings
The Central African Republic won their first game in fifteen outings. The Wild Beast won their last game in November 2019 when they defeated Burundi by two goals to nil.
Ever since the team has been searching for their first victory until Thursday evening when the team tore the form book to upset the Super Eagles of Nigeria in Lagos.
2. CAR's game plan worked absolutely
The central African Republic had a game plan, which is to defend as much as possible and find space behind the Super Eagles back four through a counterwork approach.
The plan worked perfectly for the team as they put as many as five men at the back and all eleven men behind the ball when the team is defending.
The Super Eagles had no answer to the ultra-defensive tactical approach to the match.
The game exposed the lack of creativity in the middle of the pack as the Super Eagles labor in vain to break down their opponents defense, only to run fruitlessly into the Wild Beast defensive wall without any change of approach from the coaching crew led by coach Gernot Rohr.
3. The Super Eagles were poor with dead balls
The Super Eagles still lack the cutting edge when it comes to scoring from dead balls. The Nigerians failed to make anything meaningful from the numerous free kicks and corner kicks that came their way.
The three-time African champion had thirteen corner kicks but failed to utilized anyone.
The coach needs to sort this issue as quickly as possible as a team cannot rely on a run of play as the only means of getting goals scored especially when playing against a highly defensive side.
Ability to utilize the set pieces and dead balls make the difference between the smaller teams and bigger sides.
4. Nigeria still leads the group but is now very open
Despite the loss, the Super Eagles of Nigeria still top Group C of the CAF 2022 World Cup qualifier with six points from three matches with three matches to go.
But with victories to Cape Verde and the Central African Republic after the proceedings at the end of matchday three, the group is now wide open for any team to qualify.
Cape Verde and the Central African Republic are tied on four points while the Lone Star of Liberia is occupying the rear position on the log.
With three matches to go in the round, a total of twelve points is still available for grab as the chase for the points continue in the return leg of the matchday three fixtures this weekend.
Nigeria will face the Central African Republic on Sunday, 10 October 2021 in Douala Cameroon while Cape Verde will host Liberia in Mindelo.
The winner of the group will qualify to the third and final round of the 2022 World Cup qualifier where ten group winners will be paired and the winners over two legs will qualify to represent Africa at the Mundial in Qatar next year. [Pulse Contributor's Opinion]
Olusola Adebayo is a highly-skilled, enthusiastic, self-motivated writer with over 10 successful years of experience.
Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.
JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: