The Super Eagles began their campaign in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with a laboured 1-0 win over the Swallows of Burundi and are set to clash with Guinea on Wednesday in their second Group B match. A win over the Syli National will guarantee the three time African champions a place in the Round of 16 stages.
Izuchukwu Okosi takes a look at five takeaways from the game.
1. Poor Delivery In Final Third
The Eagles dominated possession but their finishing in the first half left much to be desired.
The transition from defence to attack was slow and the wastefulness almost cost them.
2. Akpeyi Saves Nigeria’s Blushes
Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi who has usurped Francis Uzoho as Nigeria’s first choice goalkeeper made some outstanding saves which helped in the way the game panned out.
Had Burundi scored first, the outcome of the match might have been different as that could have boosted the confidence level if the debutants.
3. Inspired Substitutions By Rhor
The introduction of the duo of Ahmed Musa and Idion Ighalo for John Mikel Obi and Paul Onuachu worked a trick.
Those subs brought bite to an hitherto insipid attack and it instantly showed that Musa and Ighalo could have scored or created goal scoring chances than the two players they replaced.
4. Ola Aina and Jamilu Collins’ Conundrum
Torino FC left wing back Ola Aina had a barnstorming performance against Burundi and capped his efforts with THAT no look pass for Ighalo’s well struck goal.
The back heel was exquisite – and he meant it – it was not a fluke.
The performance on the night throws up a bit of debate over who should play at left back between the former Chelsea boy and Paderborn of Germany’s Jamilu Collins.
5. Ndidi’s Lost Balls
Uncharacteristic of the Leicester City midfielder but it was not the best of matches for Man of the Match Wilfred Ndidi who was guilty of giving away the balls in midfield sometimes.
Hopefully it is going to be a one off and Nigerians will see a better Ndidi against Guinea on Wednesday.