Nigeria’s Super Eagles have qualified to the semi-final of the Africa Cup of Nations after beating South Africa 2-1 in the quarter-final at the Cairo International Stadium on Wednesday.
Following the victory, Soccernet.ng’s Augustine Akhilomen x-ray five things we learnt from the match.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles made the game more comfortable against South Africa due to the team compact midfield. The duo of Oghenekharo Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi were solid in the heart of the midfield, intercepting most balls being played by the South Africans midfielders.
Nigeria went back to their old style of play by playing from the flanks as Ahmed Musa and Samuel Chukwueze gave the South Africans wing backs a run for their money. Their attacking instinct also reduced Bafana Bafana from making any serious threat.
Super Eagles’ profligacy in front of goal has been the team’s major problem at the Africa Cup of Nations and it was quite obvious when the team played against South Africa.
Players such as Odion Ighalo, Wilfred Ndidi, Ahmed Musa, Chukwueze had chances to bury the game but could only manage to score just one goal before paying dearly for their missed opportunities.
Rohr’s Late Substitutions
Gernot Rohr may have done a good job by qualifying Nigeria to the 2018 World Cup and also AFCON 2019, however, his lack of vision to make early substitutions have caused Nigeria more harm than good.
With the team leading 1-0 till 78th minutes, it was expected that Rohr would make changes, but he delayed which allowed South Africa to net the equalizer. However, Nigeria nicked the victory at the eleventh with William Troost-Ekong scored the winning goal.
Players’ Determination to win
The team’s determination to win today’s encounter against South Africa showed the fighting spirit among the players despite some early flaws that almost cost the team.