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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:30 am 
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HOW BAFANA BAFANA REIGNED SUPREME IN NIGERIA
http://africanfootball.com/news/713686/How-Bafana-Bafana-reigned-supreme-in-Nigeria
by Phumzile Ngcatshe
Monday Jun 12, 2017. 11:30

On Saturday 10 June, the continent witnessed one of the most attractive games of football between Nigeria and South Africa in Uyo.

The 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifier was dubbed a walkover for the Super Eagles, considering their dominance and the South Africans' off-field troubles, but the 1996 African champions claimed a 2-0 win.

It took the South African Football Association more than four months to find a suitable national team coach since the axing of Shakes Mashaba in December 2016.

However, by the time they announced the appointment of Stuart Baxter as coach in May, Gernot Rohr was way ahead with his plans and preparations for this massive encounter.

Following Bafana Bafana's first ever victory over the Super Eagles in a competitive match, I'd like to look at some of the factors which helped the South Africans to clip the wings of the so-called 'Mighty Super Eagles'.

BAXTER'S ASTUTE PLANNING

Baxter knew time was not on his side and decided to use a simple approach to upset the Nigerians in their backyard. Remember, the English manager only had a week to prepare his team, but his experience came to the fore.

He decided not to overload the players with too much information and I think that worked. Secondly, his choice of players showed that he is not scared to play the game as he opted for more ball players in his midfield.

In the past few years, he is the man who introduced the term 'quick transition' as he implemented the ideology at Kaizer Chiefs where he bagged two Absa Premiership titles, MTN8 and the Nedbank Cup.

In my opinion, Baxter knew the Nigerians were very slow
and the quick transition came into practice when Keagan Dolly quickly released Percy Tau through to score the second goal.

That beautiful pass from Dolly's left foot to Tau's left foot made all the difference and as they say, the rest is history - that was a quick counter attack/transition.

On the other hand, the Briton managed to restore calm, confidence and optimism in his team because he was very composed on the sidelines.

Credit goes to Baxter and his technical team for their well orchestrated plan to topple the Nigerians and rewrite history books.

THE MAMELODI SUNDOWNS FACTOR

Many saw the rebirth of South African football following Sundowns' 2016 CAF Champions League exploits, and this had a positive spin on Saturday's match.

The fact that Pitso Mosimane led his men to the biggest competition in continental club football meant that would rub off to the national side - it was there on Saturday.

I am not saying this because I am trying to bring divisions in the camp or among the football loving fans, but to state my opinions.

Anyone is welcome to disagree with me, but Bongani Zungu, Tau, Dolly, Themba Zwane, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Tebogo Langerman and Tiyani Mabunda are currently, or were previously, at Sundowns.

Yes, some of them are currently not playing for the Brazilians as I write this piece, but the camaraderie they formed at Sundowns has helped the national team on Saturday.

This comes back to serve as a reminder that when a local team wins a major trophy, the national team benefits.

We will remember what happened with Orlando Pirates in 1995, and Clive 'The Dog' Barker went on to lift the AFCON trophy a year later.

Furthermore, Mosimane's voice is still reverberating in my ears as he always shouted 'Aluta Continua, vitoria e certa' last year.

He knew they will eventually win the CAF Champions League and that statement rubbed off to Bafana – the victory was certain against Nigeria.

THE CAMARADERIE IN THE TEAM

Baxter knew that players are fresh from their clubs, some have lost the league title, some are set to play in the Nedbank Cup (SuperSport United v Pirates), and some are celebrating their glory in the league with Bidvest Wits.

However, he managed to ensure all the players are focusing on the task at hand, to ensure they beat Nigeria and we all saw - they fought for each other.

There was a time when Erick Mathoho was beaten in the box, but his skipper Thulani Hlatshwayo would come in to help and clean the danger.

When Mphahlele was beaten, Mathoho came and helped his mate and that happened in the middle of the park between Dean Furman and Zungu, as well as Zwane.

Again, credit goes to Baxter and the players for their never-say-die attitude in restoring the national pride against an arrogant team.

NIGERIA WERE TOO ARROGANT

The fact that they have players from Manchester City, Arsenal and Leicester City meant Nigeria automatically thought they would win the game.

However, the South African defence did well to neutralise the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi and Wilfred Ndidi.

I was disappointed to see Iheanacho displaying poor sportsmanship when he was substituted, Zungu tried to congratulate him, yet he pushed his hand away – that was disappointing.

Looking at their back four, they were slow and too vulnerable to cope with Tokelo Rantie's pace upfront.


We all know Rantie likes to score against them and Rohr's error was to allow the Chippa United (SA-based) goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi to man the posts.

We all know Akpeyi at the Chilli Boys, he is erratic and easy to beat and I knew the moment I saw his name on the team sheet, this was the day to beat Nigeria.

On the other hand, I don't recall Itumeleng Khune producing a fine save as the hosts fired blanks, save the ball which was cleared on the line by Furman – only one threatening attempt.


Before I leave, I noted Amaju Pinnick's (Nigerian Football Association's boss) facial expression and I will not be surprised if he is already looking for a new coach.

With this performance, I do not see Cape Verde coming to South Africa for their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier to win in August this year.

I am hopeful that Baxter, aka 'Mr Chuck Norris', will keep his charges grounded and continue to make the nation proud.

I see a Bafana Bafana writing a new chapter and that unity in the team will definitely leave many opponents as victims...

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:42 am 
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How long were naija in camp?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:48 am 
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Yeah. The Iheanacho thing annoyed me. A goal down and he slowly walked off when subbed. Boy should have been flogged. Pep would have flogged him mercilessly if he did that at City.

Everything about Nigeria was slow and ponderous in that game.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:02 am 
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I overheard The coach have them practicing in the morning of the game. Why would any coach put his team in the field to practice on the day of the match? They were supposed to be resting and watching SA scouting video. By the time they went to the field they were tired and if playing double header in one day.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:32 am 
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The YeyeMan wrote:
Yeah. The Iheanacho thing annoyed me. A goal down and he slowly walked off when subbed. Boy should have been flogged. Pep would have flogged him mercilessly if he did that at City.

Everything about Nigeria was slow and ponderous in that game.

The boys weren't slower rather the SAs ran the whole time. They are a fitter and better drilled team that had too much energy. I think that they need to take a drug test.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:41 am 
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Igugu wrote:
I overheard The coach have them practicing in the morning of the game. Why would any coach put his team in the field to practice on the day of the match? They were supposed to be resting and watching SA scouting video. By the time they went to the field they were tired and if playing double header in one day.



Please don't give us that chief. These are young men (except Iheanacho :sneaky: ) in peak physical health whats an early morning kick about going to do in affecting later performance. We need to stop treating footballers like fragile eggs. I posted here once Mark Hughes commenting that modern players are too pampered. Mark Hughes the story of him playing two competitive games in 24 hrs. One for Man U and other for Wales. Lets stop this nonsense please

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:45 am 
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jb wrote:
The YeyeMan wrote:
Yeah. The Iheanacho thing annoyed me. A goal down and he slowly walked off when subbed. Boy should have been flogged. Pep would have flogged him mercilessly if he did that at City.

Everything about Nigeria was slow and ponderous in that game.

The boys weren't slower rather the SAs ran the whole time. They are a fitter and better drilled team that had too much energy. I think that they need to take a drug test.


:blink: :rotf:
Its because south african players are portable size so of course they can run all day and will be quicker off the mark. Your giants tire easily and aren't as nimble and quick on the turn :taunt:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:55 am 
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We are sore losers for sure. We need to humble ourselves and get to work on improving our team.
Again, what is lacking is TEAM DISCIPLINE and focus on the agenda, instead of players acting as if
they are on personal audition.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:14 am 
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SA wasn't spectacular, game would have ended 0-0 if not for Awaziem and Akpeyi. Two players who are likely done with the SE.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:21 am 
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oscar52 wrote:
SA wasn't spectacular, game would have ended 0-0 if not for Awaziem and Akpeyi. Two players who are likely done with the SE.


You're wrong on all counts except for Akpeyi.

Bafana is transforming into a good side. We need to accept that. Maybe aided by horrible officiating, but they still beat Senegal at home and got the result away to Burkina Faso. Those were the best 2 sides in AFCON in my opinion, and BAFANA currently lead that tough WCQ group.

Nigeria still has better players, but BAFANA will beat the team and formation that we put out in Uyo anyday. The match was closer to ending 5-0 than it was 0-0. They sat back and scoped us out in the 1st half and cut us open several times in the 2nd. They were not scared of that SE team. They did not sit back when they scored 1 goal, instead, they confidently challenged us to an open game.

Awaziem was the best defender on the day, and has likely moved ahead of Omeruo in the pecking order & is certainly better than Troost. Amazing poise from such a young player! The other defenders let him down several time, but he still hustled his way to save our skins on some 2 v 1 breakaways. He was probably the only outstanding Eagles player on the day. Moses Simon would have been OK if he could deliver a pass or a final ball but as poor as he was, every other forward player was much worse.

Echiejile was probably the worst player on the field and was directly responsible for the 1st goal. He is not an International level player and there must be better alternatives out there.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:47 am 
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truetalk wrote:
oscar52 wrote:
SA wasn't spectacular, game would have ended 0-0 if not for Awaziem and Akpeyi. Two players who are likely done with the SE.


You're wrong on all counts except for Akpeyi.

Bafana is transforming into a good side. We need to accept that. Maybe aided by horrible officiating, but they still beat Senegal at home and got the result away to Burkina Faso. Those were the best 2 sides in AFCON in my opinion, and BAFANA currently lead that tough WCQ group.

Nigeria still has better players, but BAFANA will beat the team and formation that we put out in Uyo anyday. The match was closer to ending 5-0 than it was 0-0. They sat back and scoped us out in the 1st half and cut us open several times in the 2nd. They were not scared of that SE team. They did not sit back when they scored 1 goal, instead, they confidently challenged us to an open game.

Awaziem was the best defender on the day, and has likely moved ahead of Omeruo in the pecking order & is certainly better than Troost. Amazing poise from such a young player! The other defenders let him down several time, but he still hustled his way to save our skins on some 2 v 1 breakaways. He was probably the only outstanding Eagles player on the day. Moses Simon would have been OK if he could deliver a pass or a final ball but as poor as he was, every other forward player was much worse.

Echiejile was probably the worst player on the field and was directly responsible for the 1st goal. He is not an International level player and there must be better alternatives out there.

I probably have to rewatch the game because it's baffling how some are saying Awaziem was the worst player on the day whilst others are saying the direct opposite. Same with Moses Simon who I think wasn't as bad as most are making out.
At least there is near universal agreement that Echejiele was 'short 1'.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:18 am 
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oscar52 wrote:
SA wasn't spectacular, game would have ended 0-0 if not for Awaziem and Akpeyi. Two players who are likely done with the SE.

Awaziem is only 20 years old playing his first competitive match for Nigeria. Don't throw away the baby with the bath water.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:32 am 
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Damunk wrote:
truetalk wrote:
oscar52 wrote:
SA wasn't spectacular, game would have ended 0-0 if not for Awaziem and Akpeyi. Two players who are likely done with the SE.


You're wrong on all counts except for Akpeyi.

Bafana is transforming into a good side. We need to accept that. Maybe aided by horrible officiating, but they still beat Senegal at home and got the result away to Burkina Faso. Those were the best 2 sides in AFCON in my opinion, and BAFANA currently lead that tough WCQ group.

Nigeria still has better players, but BAFANA will beat the team and formation that we put out in Uyo anyday. The match was closer to ending 5-0 than it was 0-0. They sat back and scoped us out in the 1st half and cut us open several times in the 2nd. They were not scared of that SE team. They did not sit back when they scored 1 goal, instead, they confidently challenged us to an open game.

Awaziem was the best defender on the day, and has likely moved ahead of Omeruo in the pecking order & is certainly better than Troost. Amazing poise from such a young player! The other defenders let him down several time, but he still hustled his way to save our skins on some 2 v 1 breakaways. He was probably the only outstanding Eagles player on the day. Moses Simon would have been OK if he could deliver a pass or a final ball but as poor as he was, every other forward player was much worse.

Echiejile was probably the worst player on the field and was directly responsible for the 1st goal. He is not an International level player and there must be better alternatives out there.

I probably have to rewatch the game because it's baffling how some are saying Awaziem was the worst player on the day whilst others are saying the direct opposite. Same with Moses Simon who I think wasn't as bad as most are making out.
At least there is near universal agreement that Echejiele was 'short 1'.


Anyone calling Awaziem out does not know what they are talking about. He bailed us out a number of time, and was only under pressure because the other defenders either out of position, or had been easily beaten.

With Moses Simon, it is a bit relative. Against Zambia, I thought he was trying too hard to make an impression. In this game, he was not as bad as the other forward player, but I totally see why a lot of people are on his case and why he should not start for the Eagles. He was full of running, got into space wide, worked hard to get past a man or two, and if not get a corner or throw. After all that, he would either overcross the ball into touch, when there is a free man in the back post area, or cross into a crowd, when he has beaten a man and now has acres of space to advance to the 6-yard box area.

Echijile is not a national team level player. Maybe Rohr is lazy, as there must be at least 5 better options in that position (I'd even take Ambrose on the left over him, in addition to the 2 German kids and Aina. The Zamalek guy can't be that bad. Echiejile is awful).

He gets into a shooting position in the Bafana 18 yard box & attempts the most ridiculous dive ever, which the ref ignores with a laugh.

On the 1st goal Bafana goal, he drifts out of position, attempts a lame tackle and lies down pretending to be injured and hoping for a fowl. Onazi scrambles to Echiejile's position to cover, but can't prevent the pin-point cross which Rantie buries.

Echiejile was below average at his prime. He is atrocious now that he has lost a step or two. He was fatigued for most of the 2nd half and could not sprint back on the SA breaks.

No cause for alarm with the SE in general though. Good wake up call, but we need to fix the obvious weak spots.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:34 am 
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Igugu wrote:
I overheard The coach have them practicing in the morning of the game. Why would any coach put his team in the field to practice on the day of the match? They were supposed to be resting and watching SA scouting video. By the time they went to the field they were tired and if playing double header in one day.

And this is the first time they are doing this or we are complaining they lost. They came out on the day of match not to train but to stretch and warm up as we call it . It usually comprises of stretches and slight jog around...usually nothing more than 30-45 mins.

Let us give up on these excuses....the other team studied us and went for our jugular. I have not heard our own version or plans , rather all we heard going into this match is the array of young stars playing abroad , how the local lads were not good enough and how because of history we were going to roll over SA.

Seriously my bro...after reading this piece , we should be asking these questions of ourselves...hold on what were our own plans for SA?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:44 pm 
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Experience also worked against us. The team did not really play that bad in the first half. It was after the first goal that things really fell apart. They lost their shape and started playing" speculative balls". Experienced players would have calmed down and continued with the plan. The team was really young and inexperienced!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:08 pm 
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Damunk wrote:
truetalk wrote:
oscar52 wrote:
SA wasn't spectacular, game would have ended 0-0 if not for Awaziem and Akpeyi. Two players who are likely done with the SE.


You're wrong on all counts except for Akpeyi.

Bafana is transforming into a good side. We need to accept that. Maybe aided by horrible officiating, but they still beat Senegal at home and got the result away to Burkina Faso. Those were the best 2 sides in AFCON in my opinion, and BAFANA currently lead that tough WCQ group.

Nigeria still has better players, but BAFANA will beat the team and formation that we put out in Uyo anyday. The match was closer to ending 5-0 than it was 0-0. They sat back and scoped us out in the 1st half and cut us open several times in the 2nd. They were not scared of that SE team. They did not sit back when they scored 1 goal, instead, they confidently challenged us to an open game.

Awaziem was the best defender on the day, and has likely moved ahead of Omeruo in the pecking order & is certainly better than Troost. Amazing poise from such a young player! The other defenders let him down several time, but he still hustled his way to save our skins on some 2 v 1 breakaways. He was probably the only outstanding Eagles player on the day. Moses Simon would have been OK if he could deliver a pass or a final ball but as poor as he was, every other forward player was much worse.

Echiejile was probably the worst player on the field and was directly responsible for the 1st goal. He is not an International level player and there must be better alternatives out there.

I probably have to rewatch the game because it's baffling how some are saying Awaziem was the worst player on the day whilst others are saying the direct opposite. Same with Moses Simon who I think wasn't as bad as most are making out.
At least there is near universal agreement that Echejiele was 'short 1'.


Damunk,

Watch the game on your own. Lots of stuff on Awaziem have been loads of rubbish. Yes, he lost his man for the first goal, yes he miskicked the ball thrice but he had loads of good play and was the busiest of the defenders particularly in the opening half when his pace was helpful in checking the South Africans. But do not take my word for it. Watch the recording.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:19 pm 
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The YeyeMan wrote:
Yeah. The Iheanacho thing annoyed me. A goal down and he slowly walked off when subbed. Boy should have been flogged. Pep would have flogged him mercilessly if he did that at City.

Everything about Nigeria was slow and ponderous in that game.

... in another word, Iheanacho was helping the South Africans to waste time, but what should we have expected when already we have made him to think he has arrived?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:45 pm 
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Enugu II wrote:
Damunk wrote:
truetalk wrote:
oscar52 wrote:
SA wasn't spectacular, game would have ended 0-0 if not for Awaziem and Akpeyi. Two players who are likely done with the SE.


You're wrong on all counts except for Akpeyi.

Bafana is transforming into a good side. We need to accept that. Maybe aided by horrible officiating, but they still beat Senegal at home and got the result away to Burkina Faso. Those were the best 2 sides in AFCON in my opinion, and BAFANA currently lead that tough WCQ group.

Nigeria still has better players, but BAFANA will beat the team and formation that we put out in Uyo anyday. The match was closer to ending 5-0 than it was 0-0. They sat back and scoped us out in the 1st half and cut us open several times in the 2nd. They were not scared of that SE team. They did not sit back when they scored 1 goal, instead, they confidently challenged us to an open game.

Awaziem was the best defender on the day, and has likely moved ahead of Omeruo in the pecking order & is certainly better than Troost. Amazing poise from such a young player! The other defenders let him down several time, but he still hustled his way to save our skins on some 2 v 1 breakaways. He was probably the only outstanding Eagles player on the day. Moses Simon would have been OK if he could deliver a pass or a final ball but as poor as he was, every other forward player was much worse.

Echiejile was probably the worst player on the field and was directly responsible for the 1st goal. He is not an International level player and there must be better alternatives out there.

I probably have to rewatch the game because it's baffling how some are saying Awaziem was the worst player on the day whilst others are saying the direct opposite. Same with Moses Simon who I think wasn't as bad as most are making out.
At least there is near universal agreement that Echejiele was 'short 1'.


Damunk,

Watch the game on your own. Lots of stuff on Awaziem have been loads of rubbish. Yes, he lost his man for the first goal, yes he miskicked the ball thrice but he had loads of good play and was the busiest of the defenders particularly in the opening half when his pace was helpful in checking the South Africans. But do not take my word for it. Watch the recording.


The 1st goal was all on Echiejile. All hell broke loose when he pathetically decided to lie down on the ground looking for a silly foul & everyone started scrambling to cover the spare man after that.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:39 pm 
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truetalk wrote:
The 1st goal was all on Echiejile. All hell broke loose when he pathetically decided to lie down on the ground looking for a silly foul & everyone started scrambling to cover the spare man after that.
He does this often - quite a few of our players do this nonsense. Who was the guy who feigned injury against Egypt that cost us victory in the ANCQ game?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:51 pm 
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Indeed the team was very young and lacked not only experience but quality leadership, something Ghana had in the likes of Gyan, Dede, Afful, Boye, Amartey and a host of other experienced players like Jordan etc coupled with the exciting talents coming up the ranks like Thomas Agyepong, Dwanema and some others I can't remember...and they thrashed Ethiopia, but then again this South African team is a far better opposition than Ethiopia and would have given Ghana a very tough game if teams were switched...but I believe we would still have struggled against the same Ethiopia with our very inexperienced team, a very important lesson to be learned indeed...experience is very indispensable! a Mikel and Victor Moses in midfield would have unsettled the South Africans, in attack it was a bad idea to let Ihenacho play a isolated role, something he is very bad at without a striker that he can play behind with good hold up play like Ideye or Ighalo...lessons learned, such mistake can't be repeated again.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:56 pm 
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The YeyeMan wrote:
truetalk wrote:
The 1st goal was all on Echiejile. All hell broke loose when he pathetically decided to lie down on the ground looking for a silly foul & everyone started scrambling to cover the spare man after that.
He does this often - quite a few of our players do this nonsense. Who was the guy who feigned injury against Egypt that cost us victory in the ANCQ game?

I think that was Oboabona


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:51 am 
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Tobi17 wrote:
The YeyeMan wrote:
truetalk wrote:
The 1st goal was all on Echiejile. All hell broke loose when he pathetically decided to lie down on the ground looking for a silly foul & everyone started scrambling to cover the spare man after that.
He does this often - quite a few of our players do this nonsense. Who was the guy who feigned injury against Egypt that cost us victory in the ANCQ game?

I think that was Oboabona

I think you're right.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:37 am 
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Posts: 27714
Tobi17 wrote:
The YeyeMan wrote:
truetalk wrote:
The 1st goal was all on Echiejile. All hell broke loose when he pathetically decided to lie down on the ground looking for a silly foul & everyone started scrambling to cover the spare man after that.
He does this often - quite a few of our players do this nonsense. Who was the guy who feigned injury against Egypt that cost us victory in the ANCQ game?

I think that was Oboabona

Yep it was...
Leading Ikeme to throw the ball out in our area, and the rest is history.

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