Super Eagles earned a deserved place in the 2018 FIFA world cup in Russia courtesy of an Alex Iwobi goal sixteen minutes from time against Zambia in Uyo on Saturday night.
Here are five things we learned from the Super Eagles victory :
These Super Eagles can touch the height of the skies as a compact unit
It was evident, most especially in the first half, that the Super Eagles were in for a torrid outing at Uyo yesterday.
But one just had to sit back and admire how well they responded to the Zambian initial onslaught.
While the Chipolopolo came at them in diverse fashions, they seemed reluctant to cower, the backline standing stoically to avert those early pressures.
Balogun and Ekong were particularly impressive at this; once Mulenga had left the latter floored before inexplicably blasting wide but then the FSV Mainz defender picked himself up and did admirably well-we soon lost count
of their clearances.
They were, however, not alone as Mikel Obi, Shehu Abdullahi, Victor Moses and even the much-maligned Elderson Echiejile all had a fair share of the defending to do.
As a compact unit, one would marvel at what these ones stand to achieve.
Iwobi might complement Moses and Ighalo better
The Arsenal attacker yet again showed why he was the perfect foil for the Super Eagles attackers.
His effervescence was on the show right from the moment he took to the pitch and it was fitting he was the one that secured the overdue wait for a Russia ticket.
If he can start more often alongside Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, and Odion Ighalo, then the results would be very ominous for opposing teams.
The Super Eagles thrive in adversity and perhaps it best fit them
When the Eagles started the game somewhat on the back foot yesterday, trying to stop the Zambians impeding them even in their own half, a pessimist would have feared the worst.
The nervy moments continued after Zambia had caused a catalog of problems and when Onazi hobbled off with injury, the signs looked far from pleasing for the Nigerian faithfuls.
But then, it is somewhat in complexities and uncertainties that the Super Eagles produce their very best and once again, it showed.
Rohr should beware of certain tactical changes
Rohr’s man-management and astute technical know-how should be rightly applauded in the sense that he had mostly tried to get the best out of his players at any point in time.
But the initiative behind swapping the stricken Ogenyi Onazi was quite difficult to understand. While the Porto midfielder is not a bad player, such frenzied games were rather not meant to suit him best.
But in John Ogu, the Super Eagles had a hustler: a tenacious midfielder who would commit much more than the 23-year-old did. Perhaps, the German had other intentions.
The national team’s watchword at the moment is winning at all costs!
When one considers how complex this game was, both mentally and physically, then you would as well applaud the alacrity they put up in securing all three points.
There were no mercy-drops falling around at the Godswill Akpabio stadium yesterday, there was no leniency meted out.
But one thing is certain if there is anything the Super Eagles love doing at all cost, it is to win!