Nigeria’s Super Eagles on Saturday booked a ticket to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after their 1-1 draw against the Bafana Bafana at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.
Newslegend.com.ng’s IZUCHUKWU OKOSI looks back at the five talking points from the huge game.
- Poor Officiating, Iheanacho Denied Nigeria A Win
Gambian referee Sulayman Sosseh made some questionable calls in the game and ruled out two goals for offside. Television replays showed that the second goal especially was indeed a legitimate goal for Nigeria.
He also overlooked a foul by Leon Balogun on Percy Tau towards the end of the match.
Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho gave away the balls more often than he completed them. Iheanacho’s poor touch in the 36th minute after a pass from Musa right in front of goal clearly cost the Eagles a second goal.
Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi was the playmaker that knitted the Eagles together with delicious passes.
A couple of times the South Africans robbed him of the ball or intercepted it when he found a fellow Nigerian but it was a band storming performance from the nephew of legendary Austin Jay Jay Okocha.
3. Percy Tau Deserved MVP, Caused Nigeria Problems
Union SG forward Percy Tau was the official Man of the Match winner after the game.
Percy Tau who scored in the first leg between these countries last year assisted Lebo Mothiba’s goal with a clever piece of skill – feigning a shot before laying the ball onto the path of his teammate.
Tau was ingenious and selfless but the Nigerian defenders dealt with his threat better in the second half.
- South Africa Pressing Game Improved In Second Half
The Bafana Bafana gave the Super Eagles yards of space to hurt them in the first half which gave the duo of Ahmed Musa and Samuel Kalu the freedom to cause havoc from the wings.
The first half possession read: South Africa 48% – Nigeria 52%.
However the South Africans harried the Nigerians and pressed them better in the second half.
5. Three Man Defence Worked
Gernot Rohr went for a three man defensive system and it worked a trick as it pressed the South Africans further back to their side of the pitch.
The hosts resorted to counter attacks to hurt Nigeria and it thus showed that if Rohr and his crew work on tactical flexibility they can be unpredictable.