The friendly match between Nigeria and Cameroon on Friday, June 5 was the 17th under Gernot Rohr since he assumed the reins of the Super Eagles in August 2016.
And it was no different from the 16 before this – whether official or non-official matches.
If anyone was expecting a different tactic or result against Cameroon, then that person did not look at Rohr’s history of friendly matches. His record over the 17 friendly matches read: won four, lost six, and drawn seven.
The Eagles started the match with all Rohr’s familiar players – even those that have had below-average seasons in Europe. The question to ask would have been – “why agree to a friendly match that has no purpose?”
The Lions were not a very good team and they won because they scored with their only shot on target. It is hard to remember Nigeria’s goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye, having anything to do in the second half, even though the stats table said the Cameroonians had more ball possession.
|Maduka Okoye||90||6/10||Okoye did not have much to do and no blame can be laid on him for the goal that was conceded.|
|Abdullahi Shehu||90||6/10||His first 15 minutes were filled with mistakes but thereafter settled down and did his best to defend well. Saved a certain goal in the first half with a great clearance.|
|William Troost-Ekong||90||6/10||His rash clearance led to Cameroon’s only goal but, he was solid in his defending. Prone to launching long balls when he ran out of ideas on the ball.|
|Chidozie Awaziem||90||6.5/10||Not a spectacular showing but the Boavista man was solid in his tackles though he has to work on ball distribution a lot more.|
|Wilfred Ndidi||90||7/10||The only spark in a rather dull encounter. He was up for the job from the first minute till the last.
He mopped up, carried the ball, and tried to instigate attacks when he could.
He even tried to score his first goal with a left-footed drive in the second half that missed by inches.
|Oghenekaro Etebo||81||5/10||He was supposed to knit the offensive actions of the Eagles but on many occasions, he had his pocket picked or ran into a cul-de-sac. He has lost a little speed and it shows that he can’t get away from markers as quickly as he would want.|
|Alex Iwobi||87||5/10||There is something wrong with Iwobi at the moment.
He looks lost with and without the ball and when he gets on the ball, he shows an apparent lack of imagination to create or make things happen.
Started on the right and moved to the middle showed no difference in his output. A chastening summer ahead.
|Moses Simon||81||6/10||Simon should have scored when presented with an almost open goal in the second half.
The Nantes’ forward was bright on the ball and posed danger on the left flank.
|Kelechi Iheanacho||66||5/10||His lack of speed showed in the rare cases when he went one-on-one with the last defender and when he had space to attack but could not convert because he was not rapid enough.
Tried his best to link play but the midfield was a shambles.
|Paul Onuachu||66||5/10||Onuachu should have added at least a goal to his three with the chances he spurned in the first six minutes of the game.
His header was brilliantly saved but it was directly at the goalkeeper.
He suffered from Rohr’s tactics, which is largely dependent on forwards running the channels.
|Ahmed Musa||24||5.5/10||The captain brought some energy into the forward line and could have earned a last-minute penalty for his team.
He showed he still has passion in spades for this team.
|Terem Moffi||24||5/10 ||Won his first cap and tried to ruffle the feathers of Cameroon’s central defenders even though balls from midfield were sparse.
Showed some good movements though.
|Valentine Ozornwafor||4||NA||Did not play enough minutes to be rated.|
|Anayo Iwuala||9||NA||Did not play enough minutes to be rated.|
|Peter Olayinka||9||NA||Did not play enough minutes to be rated.|
|Abraham Marcus||3||NA||Did not play enough minutes to be rated.|
Rohr continues to show how inflexible he is in his tactics and player deployment.
What was the need for a friendly match when new players and tactics are not tested?
His substitutions point to ticking the box, and no particular systematic deployment. But this is Rohr and what he has been to Nigeria football since he came in five years ago.
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