Tactical Analysis: New energy can’t hide Super Eagles failings

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The dynamism of this new Nigeria side couldn’t get them over the line against Ukraine

After a new-look Nigeria side were held 2-2 by Ukraine in Tuesday’s friendly, Goal analyses the Super Eagles’ tactical display.New boys start quicklyHis four goals in 12 games since joining Glasgow Rangers had earned him a deserved call-up, and it took just four minutes for him to display the attributes he can bring to the side. 

Samuel Kalu, back in the lineup after his health concerns at the Africa Cup on Nations, made a superb dribble, cut inside from his role as inverted left winger, showed skill in a tight space, then found Alex Iwobi’s run on the outside.

 

The Everton man played a cut-back towards Samuel Chukwueze, but Aribo managed to divert a left-footed attempt into the net after making a forward run into a scoring position – a real speciality for the new man.

 

Up front, Victor Osimhen, who got only one run-out at the Afcon, but has four goals in four games for his new club LOSC Lille, was outstanding in the early stages.

 

Victor Osimhen – Nigeria U23 vs. Libya U23

 

Unlike Odion Ighalo, he often worked the channels, gave a constant out-ball into space and brought a real aerial outlet for the side too, moving onto the touchline for goalkicks as Francis Uzoho aimed longer deliveries forward.

 

One excellent spin away from his marker and a through-ball for Chukwueze saw Andriy Lunin save well with his legs.

 

Aside from the excellent work he was doing in holding up the ball, showing good feet in tight spaces, and always availing himself, he also defended well. 

Although Nigeria were not pressing high, Osimhen would drop off to supplement midfield and worked very hard for the team.

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