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Nigeria 2 - 0 Iceland: 7 Takeaways From This Game - Sports - Nairaland

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Nigeria 2 - 0 Iceland: 7 Takeaways From This Game by Arsenalholic(m): 8:26pm On Jun 22, 2018
So the Super Eagles went up against Iceland in a must win game today and came out victorious with 2 unreplied goals, and a performance that thrilled millions of Nigerians.

Here are 7 takeaways from the match...

1. Ahmed Musa delivers on the biggest stage

4 years ago in Brazil, the Leicester City striker announced his name to the world with a well-taken brace against the almighty Argentina.

Although Nigeria lost that game 3 - 2 on the night, Musa won many hearts.

Today, he definitely sent millions of Nigerians (and Argentines) into raptures up with two more important goals desperately needed by team.

The first was all about his first touch and superb finishing technique.

While the second was was all about his pace, experience and calmness in front of goal.

One thing is sure: He's the toast of many Nigerians today, both home and abroad.

2. Second Half Performance Should Be The Blueprint Going Forward

In the first half our performance was lackluster and lacked any urgency.

We had much of the ball than the Icelandic players. But we never used the ball well in threatening areas. There were so many sideways and backwards pass that were not even accurate enough.

A baffling stat at halftime showed that despite having less of the ball, Iceland had more shots on targets than us (in fact, we had 0).

Whatever Grenot Rohr told the players at the break worked the magic and we came out with more purpose and urgency in the second half and got the job done in the end.

That second half performance should thus be the blueprint going forward.

3. The Midfield Dominance Was Key

Nigeria simply won the midfield battle today and it proved to be very crucial. Similar to how Croatia won the midfield battle against Argentina last night.

Against Argentina, Iceland had played with 3 midfielders. But against Nigeria, they decided to play a flat four in the midfield. And with the eagles playing what was basically a 5-man midfield, the Icelandic team was outmanoveured especially in the second half when they began to tire.

With the youthful legs and boundless energy of Ndidi and Etebo, they surrendered the midfield battle and allowed Nigeria to start creating chances (especially after goal NO. 1) that ultimately led to their loss.

4. Grenot Rohr Did His Homework

One of the telling criticism that was leveled at Nigeria after the defeat against Croatia, was the lack of any kind of meaningful press on the opposition's defense when they had the ball.

Today Nigeria formed a pressing triangle with Musa, Iheanacho and Victor Moses that worked effectively.

We were also able to defend more compactly than we did against Croatia. This led to lesser pressure on the defense asides from the numerous set pieces Iceland racked up.

It was great to see that Rorh worked on defensive organization in training.

5. Nigeria Football Has A Bright Future

This is a first world cup appearance for guys like Uzoho, Idowu, Ebuehi, Ndidi. Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi to name a few.

These are young players beginning to get into their strides.

The experience they garner from this outing can only be a good thing for Nigeria.

By the time the next WC rolls around, they must have been together for a long time, known each other well, become more rounded in their play etc.

And by the time you start adding other youngsters currently knocking on the door like Nwakali, Oneykuru etc you can only say the future is bright for Nigerian football.

6. Super Eagles More Than Fashionistas

Before the first ball was even kicked in Russia, Nigeria had already won the "fashion WC" with their unique jersey and travelling outfit.

After an insipid display against Croatia, there were a lot of people who hit the Nigerian players with the "only good at fashion award" jibe.

And for the first time today, the world witnessed the Eagles play in their viral kits. What was more telling is that they gave a good account of themselves and each man showed why he merited his place in that team.

7. The 3-Man Defense Suits Us

We all expected coach Grenot to roll with this formation after it pegged England back during the pre-world cup warm up games.

But to our surprise he reverted back to a 2-man central defense.

Today, the added presence of Ken Omeruo made the Eagles a lot more solid at the back.

We defended well at set-pieces and gave little joy to the Icelandic front men on the deck because there was always an extra man.

Maybe we should continue with it.

On now to the last game against Lionel Messi and co where the Eagles need a point to move into the last stage.

Let's hope they get that or even more.

3 Likes

Re: Nigeria 2 - 0 Iceland: 7 Takeaways From This Game by Sheuns(m): 5:35am On Jun 23, 2018
shocked
Re: Nigeria 2 - 0 Iceland: 7 Takeaways From This Game by Badassniggga(m): 7:06am On Jun 23, 2018
Way to go sire. A choked midfield, fast-paced attack, and goals-hungry forwards did the magic yesterday.. Looking forward to our next match.

1 Like

Re: Nigeria 2 - 0 Iceland: 7 Takeaways From This Game by Arsenalholic(m): 9:24am On Jun 23, 2018
Badassniggga:
Way to go sire. A choked midfield, fast-paced attack, and goals-hungry forwards did the magic yesterday.. Looking forward to our next match.
Man, I am so proud of that midfield. They might not be the best out there but Etebo and Ndidi are fellas who sure play with their hearts on their sleeves. Even before this tourney started I already installed Ndidi as one of my favorite Super Eagles player.

But Etebo has shown he's up there too. I am just excited.
Re: Nigeria 2 - 0 Iceland: 7 Takeaways From This Game by Arsenalholic(m): 9:29am On Jun 23, 2018
Sheuns:
shocked
Hwy are you shocked.

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