5 things we learnt from Super Eagles warm-up game
A Tomáš Kalas 25th-minute goal was enough to condemn the Super Eagles to a second consecutive defeat.
A Tomáš Kalas 25th-minute goal was enough to condemn the Super Eagles to a second consecutive loss and a third in 2018. The Super Eagles are now winless in four games.
These are five things we learnt from the game on Wednesday.
1. Three man-defence from the start
For the second consecutive game and the third time in his Super Eagles career, Gernot Rohr set up his team in a three-man defence formation.
Rohr used it from the start for the first time since the 4-2 win over Argentina while his switch to the formation was reactionary against England after a torrid first half.
2. Iwobi roaring ahead of the world cup
For the second consecutive game, Alex Iwobi was Super Eagles best outfield player. Playing in a slightly deeper role, the Arsenal man looked like he was in the mood. He held the ball well, wasn't afraid to put a leg in and impressed again.
Iwobi has largely been a better player for the super Eagles than for Arsenal and this looks set to continue at the World Cup.
3. Shehu Abdullahi fails to convince
After his poor first half against England, Abdullahi got another chance at right wingback where he failed to convince.
Tyronne Ebuehi has proven to be a better player from the right but Rohr, ever a staunch loyalist to his soldiers, Abdullahi being one of them, started the Bursaspor player again against Czech.
Another chance for the 25-year-old and he didn’t make good use of it.
4. Odion Ighalo dry spell for Nigeria continues
Just four goals in 20 games, Odion Ighalo had a barren game again for the Super Eagles in their 1-0 loss to the Czech Republic.
Ighalo has still not shone in national colours, not when he was scoring for fun in England neither now that he is tearing the Chinese Super League (CSL) apart.
He last scored for the Super Eagles in August 2017 and before then he went almost two years without a goal for Nigeria.
This is not due to lack of effort, he hit the post against England and has had impressive games for the Super Eagles but the lack of creativity from the team is hurting him.
It was a pass over the top from Mikel John Obi that led to his last goal for the Super Eagles but his teammates have failed to set him up properly since that game.
He hit the post against England off an Iwobi pass, similar to what he got from Mikel for his last goal for the Super Eagles.
5. Ndidi brings the lock to midfield
Wilfred Ndidi’s absence was obvious against England, especially in the first as the Three Lions zipped the ball around and penetrated from midfield.
Back for the Super Eagles against the Czech Republic, Ndidi showed why he finished as the best top tackler in the in the just-concluded season.
He brought the lock to midfield with strong tackles, interceptions and energy.
The Czechs didn't have the luxury of penetrating from midfield anymore. They were more threatening with set-pieces and were limited to play from the wings.