Lesotho 2-4 Nigeria - Five Key Points

Super Eagles made an emphatic statement with an impressive 4-2 victory over Lesotho in Maseru on Sunday but some things didn't go unnoticed.

1. Eagles Struggle with Crosses Continues - Lesotho got their game plan spot-on and deservedly took the lead when Masoabi Nkoto headed home from an inviting cross that caught the central defensive pair of Semi Ajayi and William Troost-Ekong off-guard early on and it repeated itself through out the match with Chidozie Awaziem putting a clearance into his own net late on.

Recall that the flank was effectively used to split the Super Eagles defence in the 1-1 draw with Brazil and the 2-1 win over Benin Republic.
2. Victor Osimhen Now Mature - Victor Osimhen had his best game for the Super Eagles and the Lille OSC forward has finally found his foot for the senior national team but this time scoring from open play and was equally involved in almost all the attacking moves and the reward was two goals and two assists.
3. Ola Aina Becoming Important - Former Chelsea defender, Olaoluwa Aina underlined his importance with another assist and that can be credited to his hard work with Torino in the past year. Recall that Aina was dropped from the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup but the versatile player has kept his head and he is doing the job asked of him by the Coach.

Gernot Rohr asked the lad to switch to the left side of the defence following some sloppy display from Jamilu Collins and it was fruitful when his enterprising cross teed up Osimhen for Nigeria's third of the day. He was also brought down in the penalty area that lead to the spot-kick converted by Victor Osimhen against Benin Republic.
4. Eagles Defence Leaking Goals - At almost every game, the Super Eagles are becoming so generous for oppositions and it is not a good omen for a team aiming to become champions someday.

The Super Eagles to their credit scored 22 goals in 14 matches in 2019 but gave away 14 goals which is an average of a goal concession per game. Gernot Rohr must look for a way to fix the problem as potential champions.
5. Team to Beat - One must admire the work Gernot Rohr has put into the Super Eagles team since his appointment in 2016, the team is growing from strength to strength with each of the 23 man spot up for grab and most importantly the potential of the current crop of players. Selection most times has been on merit and the players are made to work harder to remain relevant on the international stage.

The fact that they have made winning a culture and qualification for major championships look so simple in recent years deserves commendation.

By Olamide Oyetunji

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