Augustine Eguavoen led Nigeria national team in action against their old-time rivals Ghana in the first leg of the FIFA World Cup qualifier play-off at the Baba Yara Sports Complex in Kumasi, as they both clashed to fight it out on who to secure the ticket for the next glamorous showpiece later this year in Qatar.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria were not at their very best in the show of the night as compared with their output in the last Africa Cup of Nations tournament, where they crashed out of the competition at the round of 16 against the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia.
The three-time AFCON Champions under the tutelage of Augustine Eguavoen were so lucky to salvage a vital away point from the thrilling and dominating encounter with all thanks to Francis Uzoho, who made some classic and iconic saves to deny the host from founding the back of the net.
However, one thing that was seen as a very big and costly mistake made by Augustine Eguavoen and should be avoided in the return leg next Tuesday is a tactical error.
The tactical error in the sense that he shouldn’t have started both Moses Simon and Samuel Chukwueze at the same time in the team’s starting XI. It should be recalled that this was one of the biggest mistakes made in the last Africa Cup of Nations that led to their shocking exit despite their brilliant run of form in the group stage.
Moses Simon in the group stage showed what he was capable to do and was exposed in the round of 16 after Tunisia perfected their assignment on him and as such was silenced with little or no contributions.
As a result of this, he should have been used as a joker and should come from bench yesterday as the two wings managed by Moses Simon and Samuel Chukwueze were not effective and the like of Chidera Ejuke who could make similar move in that position was not invited for the game at all.
Hence, this should be taken very good note of ahead of the second leg to be played next Tuesday should they want a meaningful result that would secure the ticket for them.
In addition Joe Aribo and Ola Aina were too soft in the midfield and the defence respectively, Aina was too overlapping yesterday but thanks to Balogun and Ekong. It was obvious that Ndidi was greatly missed yesterday as Super Eagles midfield is not strong enough to cage the Black Stars.