In the past matches between Brazil and any African opposition was just all about how many goals would the Samba boys score…
I remembered The Summer Olympics of Soul ’88, After a goalless first half the Brazilian were ruthless scoring four unreplied goals in the second half, another case was witnessd when the Abuja National Stadium was opened the Brazilians again triumph over the Eagles three unreplied goals despite some breath taking and entertaining football exhibited by our own legendary Jay Jay Okocha.
Now playing against a full strength Brazilian team in 2019, featuring, Elderson, Alves, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Casemiro, Aurtho, Neymar, Firmino, Gabriel Jesus among others in a suspected 4:2:3:1 formation , on paper they looked invincible and intimidating but the Super Eagles parading a young squad with large hearts battled the overrated Brazilians to a stand still.
Aribo stood out as my Man of the match, with his mesmerizing performance in the middle of the park capping it up with a delicious goal in the 37th mins, cutting through the Brazilian defense like a hot knife through butter before scoring his second goal in his second cap for Nigeria.
Semi Ajayi was a delight to watch in the heart of the defense pairing the captain of the day Ekong, As expected Brazil bossed the ball possession which means more work for Ndidi and Iwobi and less supply to Osimhen, Moses and Chukwueze, they were more busy with defensive duties but on the few occasions they ventured forward Osimhen was a torn in the flesh of the Brazilians.
The aggression and quick thinking of the Brazilians payed off early in the second half with the equalizer by Casemiro after he reacted quickly to a rebound from the post. The low point of the match was the knee injury to the Eagles goal keeper Uzoho who was replaced by a debutant Okoye.
The new keeper exhibited confidence and hope for the future, other debutants include Dennis Emmanuel and Peter Olayinka they tried to match the Brazilians and soaked the constant pressure, there were also chances for returning Ramon Azeez and Paul Onuachu.
My personal assessment of Onuachu who recently made a big money move from Denmark to Belgium – the Coach must find the best way to use him and play to his strength else he will be a liability on the team. The technical crew must always read the game and react promptly, technically and tactically.
A draw against a full strength Brazilian team should be applauded and commended thus the potential to be better must be exploited, now all players must merit their places in the team.
Additional Invitations to this team must be on merit and good performance in their various clubs.
The more the merrier and it would become substitutions by eliminations. Even Musa, Omeruo, Etebo and Balogun cannot stroll into this team, Nigeria can Soar Higher.
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