5 things we learnt from Super Eagles defeat in World Cup 2018 game
The Super Eagles lost 2-1 to Argentina courtesy of goals from Messi and Rojo in Saint Petersburg.
Lionel Messi and Marcos Rojo scored on either side of a Victor Moses goal.
These are five things we learnt from the game
1. Musa is Nigeria’s most important player
After his two-goal heroics against Iceland, Ahmed Musa was once again Super Eagles livewire against Argentina.
Before he was taken off late on, Musa was a constant threat to the Argentine and looked the only likely source of goal from open play for the Super Eagles.
He arrived in Russia as a plan B for the Gernot Rohr but he’s leaving now as one of Super Eagles most important players.
2. Messi and Rojo score against Nigeria again
For the second consecutive World Cup, Lionel Messi and Rojo have scored against Nigeria. While Messi netted a brace in the 3-2 win in a group stage game of Brazil 2014, it was Rojo that scored the winner for Argentina.
Four years later, both players have caused another headache for Nigerians again.
3. Ighalo gets the blame
While heartbroken Nigerians have praised the Super Eagles performance and resilience, Odion Ighalo is getting all the stick for the loss. A half-time substitute, Ighalo was guilty of missing several chances to put Nigeria in the lead.
He came into this World Cup as Nigeria’s first choice striker but is now at the risk of being dropped subsequently from the squad.
4. Future bright for Nigeria’s midfield
The Nigerian midfield trio of Wilfred Ndidi, Mikel John Obi and Oghenekaro Etebo was impressive again against Argentina.
Just like against Croatia and Iceland, Super Eagles midfield was solid again.
Despite the disappointing exit from the World Cup, that midfield offers hope for the future. Likely to be without Mikel Obi, Ndidi at 21 and Etebo at 22 are poised to be Super Eagles linchpins for years to come.
5. Nigeria lose to Argentina again
Nigeria’s 2-1 loss to Argentina continues a worrying trend of Super Eagles defeats against the South Americans at the World Cup.
Since USA 1994 when Nigeria made their debut at the World Cup, the Super Eagles have met Argentina in five of the six World Cup they have played in.
More worrying is that the Super Eagles have lost each of their games against Argentina at the World Cup.