Nigeria took on the Brazilian national team at the Singapore National Stadium in a friendly match on Sunday.
The final score finished as a 1-1 tie, but the result could have gone either way, as both of these fantastic footballing nations created a flurry of chances that they could not capitalize on.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at six things we learned from this international friendly.
6. William Troost-Ekong and Semi Ajayi flourished at the heart of defence
Both Troost-Ekong and Ajayi sniffed out all threat in the Brazilian attack leaving them to find joy only at the flanks of the Nigeria’s defence. The duo communicated well and handled all that the Brazilian attack threw at them with ease. In the second half when Nigeria decided to sit back and soak pressure Troost-Ekong and Ajayi ensured they entertained no hostages with a fully committed performance that has made a huge case for future consideration when Kenneth Omeruo returns to the team. The pair were not at fault for the Samba Boys equaliser.
5. Gernot Rohr Seems to Have Found His Formation
Coach Gernot Rohr has seemingly found one he can rely on for greater continuity within the squad.
He chose to go with a narrower 4-3-3, which then became a 4-3-2-1 in the second half. Both formations require fullbacks who are efficient at pushing up the flanks, and he got just what he wanted in Chidozie Awaziem and Jamilu Collins.
The 4-3-2-1 makes great use of the midfield depth Nigeria has, as well as the versatility to use either two attacking midfielders behind the strikers or two wingers.
4. Victor Osimhen has come to stay as Eagles’ number
Heading into this fixture, one name dominated the headlines. Victor Osimhen, who has made a bright start to his Lille career.
And for very good reason. He’s been sensational this season having already bagged eight goals across nine Ligue 1 outings.
His hold up play was simply sensational and massive. The former Wolfsburg and Sporting Charleroi forward was involved in the goal scored by Aribo.
Victor Osimhen has come to stay as Eagles’ number nine. He is definitely the ‘New Yekini’.
3. Joe Aribo impresses again
The central midfielder is entering the phase of his career where he can no longer be considered a promising talent. He’s shown enough times across the last two matches he’s got what it takes to thrive in Nigeria’s midfield with Sunday being the latest example.
Aside from scoring a beautiful goal, he completed 39 of his 45 attempted passes while producing nine take-ons.
2. Francis Uzoho still remains Super Eagles number one
Lanky goalkeeper Francis Uzoho was impressive with his handling of the ball and reflexes. He once again proved his critics wrong with a scintillating performance behind the sticks. He couldn’t complete the game due to injury.
Uzoho still remains Eagles number one keeper.
1. It Was a Grand Spectacle
The game had a frenetic pace about it, with both teams playing beautiful attacking football and going on surging runs.
Eagles weren’t a pushover and stated their case that they can still go toe-to-toe with the best in the world.
Joe Aribo’s movements were shifty, and the rest of the team played the ball on the ground often, using triangles to break down the opposing defense.
It was a fantastic day of football in a match that is a glorified friendly of the highest order.