Nigeria was determined to reach the quarter finals for the 1st time in the world-cup history. This was not possible on monday as they stumbled ahead of France "The Blues". Here are a number of things as to why they did not manage to go through.
1. PLAYING A SLOW GAME
Several times when the ball was on Nigeria territory, the players did not play with any favourable speed. This is a disadvantage on their side because France was eager to play so quick for each ball they got towards Nigeria.
2. OBI MIKEL NOT IN HIS FORM
Several times the Nigerian midfielder seemed to loose balls. There are some ocassions where Mikel was so slow to decide on where to take the ball. Some times France midfielders and defenders took the ball away from Mikel's legs.
3. ONAZI'S DEPARTURE
The key player in the midfield of the Super eagles, Onazi was seriously injurred n the 58th minute or so. This happened from a clash with Blaise Matuidi. This made another Nigerian player Gabriel to take his place. On my side Onazi was more helpful in the midfield than Gabriel. The Super Eagles Mid-field was so vulnerable after Onazi went out. This made a little easier dynamics from Valbuena, Pogba and Matuidi towards Nigeria's goal. No wonder Pogba scored in the 79th minute.
|Onazi injurred by Matuidi. Photo by: www.dailymail.co.uk|
4. UNPROPER MARKING ON THE 78TH MINUTE CORNER
The Nigerians were not properly prepared to defend the corner in the 79th minute. Pogba was able to jump so high and kick the ball with such a soft curved header directly into the Super Eagles net. Surprisingly in the Nigerians goal there was no any player to resist the ball. The goal was empty and Enyeama, the goalkeeper went some inches ahead to fight for the ball. In other teams it is very common to find one or two defenders standing near the goal posts when the corner kicks are taken.
5. TOO MUCH UNPRODUCTIVE PASSES
The Nigerian national team dominated the ball but failed to make correct decisions at the right time. Some times the defenders were passing to each other on the danger area, this nearly cost the Super Eagles. Too many box passes were played by the Nigerians. Ahmed and Emenike were lonely in front, not getting the balls which could make the difference on their side. In modern football there is no time for a mere passy football without any goals. So France taught a very tough lesson to the super eagles. With the few balls they were getting, the France team used them economically and we see that they were able to get the crucial win.