It is no longer news that Nigeria and SouthAfrica made unpararell history in Uyo, Nigeria, Saturday June 10th 2017. While the Eagles had never lost a match with their new coach before yesterday, Bafana Bafana had never won Super Eagles in a competitive match, Alas!
Many Nigerian football fans on Saturday night, June 10, 2017 suffered serious insomnia following the shocking defeat of the Super Eagles against their much heralded opponents South Africa.
Many people left the stadium in annoyance as they could not believe that the Eagles would fail to soar against the Bafana Bafana, while those that watched the match via the television itemized their grievances on the social media.
After Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the last two editions of the Nations Cup, Super Eagles’ defeat to South Africa has now put their qualification for the 2019 AFCON in serious doubt as they currently sit on the throne of despair.
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There are many factors that many fans feel contributed to the Super Eagles’ defeat on Saturday, and here we bring you four out of the reasons Nigeria lost to South Africa.
1. Mikel Obi’s absence Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel could not be part of the Nigeria’s squad as the former Chelsea star is currently recuperating from an injury. Mikel would have been of serious help to the Nigeria midfield that lacked coordination against Bafana Bafana as the duo of Onazi and Ndidi failed to produce any finesse which helped the South Africans to penetrate.
2. Victor Moses’ absence Victor Moses Chelsea star Victor Moses would have been of great assistance to the Super Eagles striking department as the performance of the duo of Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa almost gave many Nigerian fans heart attack. Victor Moses’ attacking skills and experience would have decimated Bafana Bafana defense, but sadly, the former Liverpool man pulled out of the game due to injury.
3. Defensive gaffe Echiejile The Super Eagles back four were not up to the task against South Africa as player like left full back Elderson Echiejile disappointed many Nigerian fans who had believed that his experience would be exemplified against South Africa, but the night turned sour for him as the South Africans broke his defense.
4. Goalkeeping error Daniel Akpeyi Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr thought using Daniel Akpeyi for the tough match against South Africa would be of help to Nigeria since the goalie plays in the South African League, but he failed to realize that most of the Bafana Bafana players also play in their country’s top flight and they might have met him many times in League games.
Meanwhile, South African national team coach, Stuart Baxter, says winning Nigeria in an African Nations qualifier is very interesting.
He said “We opened up the game in the first half but unfortunately we did not score. Beating Nigeria is very interesting.
“Nigeria is a very good side but my boys prevented them from scoring. We are trying to develop our boys and expose them,’’ he said.
South African striker, Tokelo Rantie, lived up to his billing as he scored in the 56th minute while Percy Tau who replaced Rantie, scored the second goal for his side in the 83rd minute.
The visitors sized up the Eagles in the first half, took advantage of their slower opponents in the second half of the match stringed crisp passes that sunk the Eagles in their backyard.
Moses Simon, Etebo Oghenekaro and Ndidi Wilfred were easily the best Eagles on the pitch on a day the team failed to fly.
Nigeria still has fair chances in AFCON and must make a signifcant change from what was witnessed on Saturday