Thursday, April 18, 2024

Nigeria 0-2 Mali: Lessons From The Battle Of Eagles

Nigeria suffered a 2-0 defeat to Les Algles of Mali following their impressive 2-1 victory over Ghana days ago. 

The game against Mali left a lot to be desired, and here are three things we learned from the disappointing result:

`Firstly, errors from Omeruo and Awziem disappointed Finidi George’s men in Marrakech on Tuesday night. The defenders left Nigerians missing the Ekong-Ajayi-Bassey combination at the 2023 AFCON. But some days are like that,

Secondly, Finidi George’s Super Eagles dream took a major blow as Mali stunned Nigeria. The jury is still out on Finidi George as the interim coach of the Super Eagles. Although he made some tactical alterations in the victory over Ghana, the showing against Les Aigles calls for further evaluation. The Nigerian Football Federation’s search for Jose Peseiro’s replacement is ongoing, and Finidi George is one of the contenders for the role.

Most Nigerians who had previously backed Finidi for the job will pause and that implies Emmanuel Amunike retains the tag as favourite to land the job.

Lastly, although Nigeria lost the game, Alex Iwobi was involved in everything positive for the Super Eagles, proving that his impressive season with Fulham can be replicated in Nigerian colors.

In addition to this, Cyriel Dessers failed to grab his opportunity and stake his claim for future invitations over two matches. He scored against Ghana, but it was from the penalty spot, and he missed crucial chances against Mali that could have changed the outcome for the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

The players will return to their respective clubs after the March International break – but there is concern about Moses Simon’s injury – hopefully, it is not as serious as the initial signs from videos showing the Nantes man in tears as he was taken off the pitch.

Up next will be qualification games for the 2026 World Cup and 2025 AFCON. By then, the Eagles will have a new head coach.

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