Wednesday, January 23, 2013

EAGLES WATCH: 93:45SEC by Chijoike ''CeeJay'' Ezeali

Nigeria 1 – 1 Burkina faso (Emmanuel Emenike 23’, Alain Traore 90+4).
That was not the whole story my friends but before I go on let me remind you of something I said in my last article: “……..It’s important we believe and support our own; the Eagles can get it right again even if the present Eagles are lazy, over paid, pampered and less talented than the Eagles of 1980 and 1994 set just remember Rome was not built in a day”.  
Every word I used in describing the present Eagles seem so true and even if I’d urged for you to support the team, I promise to be objective in my assessment of the present Eagles.

The Eagles did not have a bad game against Burkina faso, not because the Eagles played well but because the Burkinabe’s offered almost nothing yet they got a point. 

I was surprised to see captain Joseph Yobo make mistakes not because of lack of form but because he panicked, Mr Efe Ambrose got a careless second yellow card, Brown Ideye was full of running but no effectiveness apart from the pass to Emenike that led to the opening goal, Nosa Igiebor looked lost, Fenor Ogunde looked over weight and was so slow to tackles, Uche came in and wasted two decent chances although his touch from Ahmed Musa’s pass was swift as it took him away from the defender but his shooting technic let him down, Echejile was his usual ordinary jittery self, Mikel and Ogbabonna were our standout performers, Omeru and Onazi looked good when they came in as substitute’s while Ahmed Musa seem to had painted away his senses along with his hair and was largely responsible for the equalizer. 

It was 4minutes of added time after the 90, Musa had the ball at exactly 93min:45sec in the opponents half, all he had to do was take the ball to the corner flag or give the ball back to Onazi who was already close to the corner flag but instead choose to play an inside pass in front of the 18 yard box, the ball was intercepted and the Burkinabe’s scored with the last kick of the match. With 10men and inside extra time, leading 1-0 there is no shame in holding onto the ball for a few more minutes’ even better football playing countries do it. 
Nipping away: Ahmed Musa (left) chases after the ball as Nigeria controlled most of the match
Does that part of the game need coaching? Or was Musa just being his average self, it is a valuable two point the team just gave away, I thought Keshi said they were very prepared and ready for this tournament? It’s a shame that the only form of attack we can offer is to lob the ball forward and hope our player gets to the ball first, what has happened to short passes or our famous wing play? Maybe this team is just not talented enough or it’s not the best poll of our players.

However, Coach Stephen Keshi showed he knows his team very well by going with a 4-3-3 formation and his substitutions were on point but could it have been different without the red card to Ambrose or the yellow to Ogunde? Let’s see how the next match goes on Friday against Zambia.

The Zambians also drew 1 – 1 with the Ethiopians so it meant the Eagles lost the chance to open up an early 2point gap. I recall after the Zambian game we were excited they drew as we looked forward to the Eagles game, the confidence wasn’t high though but we expected the Eagles to win and they blew it. 
Cruising: Nigeria's Emmanuel Emenike opened the scoring as the Super Eagles looked set to win the game
I watched the Eagles match with a colleague and he said” this Burkina faso looks like the easiest in our group” and followed with a question: “ are you sure we can beat Zambia or Ethiopia?”. Sincerely, I did not know what to answer him, maybe you do.                 

Chijioke Ceejay Ezeali doesn't need much introduction. A creative writer who is calving his niche as football pundit, CeeJay has written interesting articles on various issues in football.

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