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hi-res-7829fa8840a5bd851134e4bb70a29554_crop_north-e1401436911730   The Super Eagles of Nigeria entered her final stages of preparation for the World Cup mundial with a friendly against a resilient Scottish team at Craven Cottage in London on Wednesday. The game which had a large turnout ended in a two-two (2-2) draw. However, there were some lessons we got from the match that I have outlined below. The defence needs surgery The coordination of the defence was awful in the first half, even though the two centre halves who started the match were not first team regulars, in the event of an injury to Omeruo or Oboabona, the Super Eagles will lack a credible replacement. Let’s not forget the old saying in football that ‘good attack wins matches, good defence wins championships.’ Nigeria still needs a Jay-Jay I could not help but notice that the Super Eagles lacked some through balls and cutting edge passes, that which can only be provided by a skilful attacking midfielder. Nigeria has in the past been blessed with incredible midfielders, most notably Jay-Jay Okocha. Most of the passes made in the game were diagonal ones searching for space to exploit. The reality is that we played Scotland, who couldn’t make it to Brazil. The Eagles will have to find a solution to this problem before going to Brazil as we will meet more organised opposition and playing the ball around without incisive penetration will get us nowhere. With that being said, Keshi needs to assign one or two players that responsibility in order to produce goal opportunities. The attack needs quality supplies In the first half, seeing two big centre forwards had me feeling nostalgic. I remembered when we used to have big commanding strikers. Their presence alone would send fear to the opposition’s defence. With Emmanuel Emenike rested as well, the attack looked assured but only lacked quality delivering from the midfield. Nigeria can build five teams The Nigerian team who started the match in London could still have gone on to beat that Scottish side if they had more time to train together, yet they are not our first eleven. The truth is that, the country has incredible footballers. Keshi should ensure that he bases his selection on passion and dedication to the team’s objectives.  

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This article was first published on 30th May 2014


Martins Okafor is a Sports Writer for Connect Nigeria. He has been a sport buff for years, following stories and development in leagues and international competitions. His interest led him to writing stories – reporting on sporting events. He has superior interest in soccer, but knows much about other sports. He plans to have a blog and to advance in sport journalism. You can email him at: obimartins85 [at]

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