Saturday, June 2, 2018

A game of two halves: England vs Nigeria

So we lost 2-1 to England at Wembley on Saturday in an international friendly to prepare the Super Eagles for the World Cup.

Uzoho saves of Raheem Sterling. Picture credit Guardian UK.
The first half was painful to watch as England ran the show and picked us up easily. They could have scored four goals before the break but for some good goalkeeping by Francis Uzoho and profligacy by the English attack led by Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling.

Nigeria never got started at all. We never did until the second half and by then, the damage was done already.

Rohr started with a 4-3-3 formation which obviously didn't work as England found pocket of spaces to run rings around the Nigerian midfield while finding joy down the right side of the Nigerian defence manned by Shehu Abdullahi.

He was exposed time and time again as England threatened to blow Nigeria out of the park in the first half. Alex Iwobi (who was played from the wings) did little to help Shehu's cause as he offered him little or no assistance.

Harry Kane gets a second for England. Phot credit Guardian UK
England deservedly scored two goals in the first half - a Gary Cahil header of a corner kick and a sweet finish from Harry Kane that Uzoho had no answer to.

The second half saw a much improved Nigerian side as Rohr tweaked his team to 3-5-2 hauling off the ineffective Ogenyi Onazi while Shehu Abdullahi and Leon Balogun were both hauled off at half-time.

Oghenekaro Etebo, John Ogu and Kenneth Omeruo came in for the trio and Nigeria looked a different proposition. 

Tyronne Ebuehi also came in and was wonderful down the flanks bombing forward to swing in the crosses, something that was clearly missing in the first half.

Alex Iwobi got one back from Nigeria following a move he started and finish early in the second half.

Iwobi scores for Nigeria. Picture credit Guardian UK

He lobbed a pass to Odion Ighalo who turned his marker and let fly. The ball beat Jordan Pickford in goal for England but came off the post as Iwobi showed great awareness to hit the rebound home.

Nigeria looked assured throughout the second half as the formation looked to have brought stability and great impetus to the team.

Video Highlights

A 2-1 scoreline won't flatter England but Rohr now knows there is a whole lot of work to be done with the squad.

That first half was one of the worst displays I've seen the Eagles put out in recent times but the positives from the game is that Rohr can go to 'Plan B' if 'Plan A' fails.

Two players will be cut from the squad today. Who do you reckon it will be?

Hit me up in the comments section below

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