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5 Key Take Aways From Super Eagles’ Draw Against Leone Stars

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Following the Super Eagles lacklustre 4-4 draw against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium Benin City on Friday, November 30, we highlight five remarkable observations from the game

Okoye, Akpoguma, Sanusi Struggle On Home Debut

The trio of Maduka Okoye, Kevin Akpoguma and Zaidu Sanusi made their home debut for the Super Eagles against Sierra Leone on Friday and they all struggled to impress.

Okoye conceded four times and failed to make any big save in the game. He never reached the standard he set in Super Eagles’ international friendlies against Algeria and Tunisa.

Akpoguma, who was selected by Gernot Rohr for the right-back role ahead of Tyronne Ebuehi, and Chidozie Awaziem, was the main target by the Sierra Leoneans. He struggled to cope with the pace of the game and failed to make forays upfront.

Sanusi also put up a below par showing despite bagging an assist

Same Old Joe Aribo – Poor Against African Opponents

The Glasgow Rangers of Scotland star scored two goals in his first two outings for the Super Eagles against Ukraine and Brazil. He has however struggled against African oppositions.

The midfielder was criticised for his poor performance against the Squirrels of Benin and and Crocodiles of Lesotho (Super Eagles first two group games) and also failed to cover himself in glory after another shambolic display against Sierra Leone on Friday.

Etebo Showed His Versatility Again

Nicknamed ‘Double Engine’ by his teammates, Oghenekaro Etebo showed his versatility by occupying the holding midfield role in the absence of the injured Wilfred Ndidi.

The Galatasaray star was Nigeria’s best performer, especially in the first half. He dominated the midfield and shielded the defence well before the team capitulated in the second half.

Defence Crumbled After Balogun’s Substitution

Leon Balogun picked up a knock after the break and was later replaced by Semi Ajayi. The defence looked out of sorts after his substitution, conceding three times afterwards.

His replacement, Semi Ajayi, was awful all through, while William Troost-Ekong couldn’t cope without his regular partner.

Captain Musa Failed To Justify Starting Berth

A surprise inclusion in the starting line-up, Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, failed to justify his inclusion in the starting lineup ahead of Chidera Ejuke and Emmanuel Dennis. His inactivity at club level may have played a role in his poor showing in the game.

The winger was duly hauled off after the break after a subdued showing.

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