By Tijjani Abdulsalam There are three possible scenarios that follow…
By Abdulkabir Olatunji
Nigeria has crashed out of the World Cup after a 2-1 defeat in its last group game to Argentina. Lionel Messi scored in the 14th minute with Victor Moses converting from the penalty spot in the 51st minute. Marcus Rojo’s 86th minute strike gave Argentina the victory.
1. Nigeria’s Penalty was Soft
We have seen those given but at the same time, most referees might not give it because Leon was playing for the foul. Good move by him though.
2. The Ighalo Situation was not a Penalty
The defender rose to head the ball and hit is hand inadvertently. This is not the only factor though, the ball still got to Ighalo who had the chance to bury it without inhibition. The referee got it right and if we want to grow in football, we should learn to stop playing the victim card. It was a case of ball-to-hand and that is not usually punished in football.
3. Ighalo Should have Scored
Scoring goals on-the-volley is not as easy as we might think but Odion Ighalo should have scored. A big miss that proved costly in a big game. Big games are won on fine margins and Ighalo failed to score with a good chance before that too. Should have squared the ball instead of shooting? A good question to ask.
4. We Need a Genuine No.10 and World Class Striker
The Super Eagles simply lacked a proper No.10 with real playmaking ability. Mikel Obi is effectively a No. 4. We might want to have a look at Kelechi Nwakali for the role. He can take freekicks, is a great passer of the ball, can finish too.
5. Uzoho is our Discovery of of this tournament
His fingertip safe of Messi’s first half free kick is one of the saves of the tournament so far. He looked calm and assured in all of our 3 games. He has a bright future ahead of him.
6. Victor Moses Should Be Our Official Penalty Taker
The world applauded his penalty and his technique is quite different from popular penalty styles. He scored in a friendly against Poland before the World Cup and did it again today.
7. Let’s Keep Gernot Rohr
Gernot Rohr is probably the best coach we have had since Clemens Westerhof in terms of building a group of players ready to work hard to achieve better results. If he stays long enough, we could have a very good team in the next 4 years that might challenge for the World Cup.
8. Messi Has the Wind in his Sails
Great players defy the odds to achieve success. Messi scored tonight and was a potent threat that the Nigerian team found difficult manage. The Argentina team are learning to rise to the occasion with Messi as their leader. They meet France next and that should be quite a game.
9. Argentina found a way to win
The team that will beat this Argentina side will have to work hard. They have gone through adversity and survived. Watch out for them although the team still needs the likes of Higuain and Aguero to find their best form.
10. Let us move Forward with Team and Improve our Football Structure
Nigeria is out of Russia 2018. We should rapidly let that sink in and look to the future. We should create the necessary structures via youth academies, the league structure to add professionalism that breeds excellence to our football. There should proper structure to develop players, coaches, referees and administrators. Every role needs development and skill advancement.
Let us not forget to encourage the players and the coaching team, they have done their best under the circumstances and should be supported to do better in the future.