Iwobi needs to be more physical and four other things learnt from Eagles goalless draw against Zimbabwe

Rohr named goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi for the second game in a row with Francis Uzoho and Ikechukwu Ezenwa sitting out again. The German tactician also made six changes to the side that started in the 1-0 victory over the Pharaohs of Egypt in March. While the likes William Troost-Ekong, Abdullahi Shehu, John Ogu, Wilfred Ndidi, Henry Onyekuru and Moses Simon that started against Egypt were all named amongst the substitutes for today’s game against Zimbabwe.

Onuachu retained his spot alongside, Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi, Peter Oghenekaro Etebo, defenders Leon Balogun and Jamilu Collins. Samuel Kalu, Chukwueze and Onuachu kept the pressure on the Zimbabweans but all efforts kept yielding to nothing as the first half clock wound down. AT the the point if the interval, it was still goalless at the wet Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.

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Second half started with Super Eagles hoping to create something more fascinating in the second 45 minutes than that of the first. The half seemed not to start brightly for Nigeria as Sibanda prevented a Musa unorthodox cross from getting to Onuachu before Chukwueze cut in and then it shoot over. Rohr made another set of substitutions with Victor Osimhen replacing the ineffective or rather isolated Paul Onuachu and Henry Onyekuru coming on for an impressive Samuel Chukwueze and John Mikel Obi going off for John Ogu. Rohr sprung a series of substitutions with Chidozie Awaziem, Ahmed Musa and William Ekong replacing Aina, Kalu and Omeruo respectively but failed to yield result as they played out goalless draw.

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Here are the five things learnt in the game.

1. Chukwueze must start for Super Eagles in AFCON: The Villarreal forward picked up from where he left from in the Spanish Laliga as he was a threat for the Zimbabwean side on the right wing forward, dribbling past their left back on numerous occasions in the first 45 minutes.

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Chukwueze showed that he was the best player on the pitch for the Super Eagles, switching play from the right wing to the middle. The 19-year-old could be the answer to lack of good left-footer in Super Eagles for years since Emmanuel Amuneke retired.

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2. Super Eagles should stop playing at Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba: There has been a lot of complaint about the stadium’s condition for some time now and in this match, the condition of the pitch was worse as usual.

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The Super Eagles players struggle to pick out each other due to the fact that the ball couldn’t move well on the grass. Rohr once complained about the nature of the pitch to NFF but they insist it is the best stadium in the country.

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The federation needs to find a new stadium for Super Eagles as it time to move on from this ‘awful’ pitch. It even got a lot of bad reactions from fans on twitter.

3. Super Eagles need John Mikel Obi: Mikel failed to play for the Super Eagles in any of the AFCON qualifiers but was included in the 25-man provisional squad for the competition.

In this particular game, the former Chelsea midfielder showed he was the missing piece in the Super Eagles midfield. He had a good game playing alongside the midfield combination of him Iwobi and Etebo.

He played a perfect defensive midfielder duty as he intercepts play and linking up well with Etebo and Iwobi. He obviously deserves a place in the final squad not only because of his experience but the fact that he still got a lot to offer the team in Egypt.

4. Iwobi needs to play like an African: The Arsenal forward was praised for switching allegiance for England to Nigeria but he has failed to adapt to the nature of African football.

Iwobi is obviously a player who adds flair to his game when he plays for Arsenal, but that kind of play in African football needs a little bit of physicality which he has failed to add to his game since he starts playing for Nigeria. He was one of Super Eagles best players on the pitch but he was often bamboozled off the ball by the Warriors midfielders.

5. Super Eagles need to improve on creating scoring chances: With the likes of Mikel, Iwobi, Chukwueze, and Etebo in the team, there should be a lot of scoring chances in all their games but that was not the case in this match.

Super Eagles failed to create clear cut chances in the game as scoring chances in the game were just half chances. Not until when Henry Onyekuru came on the second half and was trying to create something out of nothing on the right wings.

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