What is a soccer world cup without the Nigerians? The Africans have qualified for every world cup since 1994 bar one and they are hot favorites to qualify for the final Round from Group C. The group has some “minnows” Liberia, CAR and Cape Verde and I say minnows very loosely. In this match they fielded a very strong looking line up which included Napoli hotshot Osimhen, Iheanacho of Leicester and various premier league players to name a few Troost Ekong(Watford) and Onyeka(Brentford). I will not even lie and say I know much about CAR except maybe that they are coached by a Raoul Savoy who has extensive experience in African soccer.
This match will hurt Nigeria for the lack of cutting edge up front given the arsenal at their disposal. As per what happens usually in a team of star attackers, they tend to want to be selfish and grab all the glory. Watch Iheanacho’s chance on 33. Osimhen was open for the pass in a better position but the Leicester man opted for the difficult shot. There has been a lot of talk amongst Nigerian fans and pundits about the exclusion of Taiwo Awoniyi(Union Berlin) from the squad for the first two qualifiers.
He has been in red hot form in the Bundesliga but he got his chance here only because of injuries to others. Nevertheless he didn’t seize his chance to really cement his place. Check out the chance squandered here on 53. The goal for CAR could have been avoidable for the following reasons. The clearance by Ekong should have been by kicking the ball away instead of heading. In hindsight they were always in trouble when the two defenders were running towards their own goal with an opposition striker sandwiched between them. Is it panic stations yet for Nigeria? No don’t think so they are still top of the Group and they are usually good travelers so no alarms yet.