Nigeria 2-1 Benin Republic: What did we learn?

Nigeria 2-1 Benin Republic: What did we learn?

According to Goal, the following are the talking points from the clash between the two West African neighbours in Uyo on Wednesday evening

TV broadcast is a big shame

It was bad news hearing that none of the Afcon 2021 qualifiers will be televised until further notice after Caf terminated its broadcast deal with Supersport. While it was encouraging to hear plans were in place for the Nigeria vs Benin Republic game to be aired by a local broadcaster, the quality was poor. It gave fans no pleasure at all, and further raises questions about how serious and committed NFF is towards making football in the country more attractive and appealing to viewers.

Collins needs competition

Jamilu Collins can be forgiven for getting exposed time and time again against Brazil last time out, but certainly not against Benin Republic. Sadly, that happened, with the visitor’s early goal coming from his flank. Had he done better in dealing with his marker, the opening goal from Stephane Sessegnon would probably have been thwarted. Collins is the established number one left-back, but it’s clear he needs competition in that position otherwise it could be more slack performances, reminiscent of the Elderson Echiejile days.

Akpeyi not at fault

Daniel Akpeyi’s stock continues to raise in the South African Premier Soccer League with Kaizer Chiefs, but the same can’t be said in Nigeria where he still largely hasn’t been forgiven for his earlier gaffes in goal with the Super Eagles. Taking the place of injured Francis Uzoho for this tie, heaven was let loose when Benin scored within the opening two minutes. Blame was suddenly shifted towards the 33-year old, but replays showed he wasn’t at fault, but fingers should be pointed toward the Nigerian defence for ceding possession. Akpeyi was mainly a spectator from then on, as the Super Eagles asserted more pressure on their visitors and clawed their way back to victory in the end.

Fair result for Benin

It looked like the Squirrels were going to record a giant-killing result when they took the lead in Uyo, but it was as good as they could get. They can be pleased with their performance considering their late arrival and failure to train in good time ahead of the tie. It was a good fight from them as it could have been a much bigger scoreline if the Super Eagles had taken their chances. The sad part is a first-ever win for the Francophone nation over their Anglophone neighbours will have to wait a little longer.

Chukwueze still has growing to do

Samuel Chukwueze has undeniable talent, with his profile ever increasing. However, there’s still a considerable part of his game that needs to improve. While he’s got a bundle of tricks and skills up his sleeves, his decision making still leaves a lot to be desired. The Villarreal man will need to improve in that area if he wants to take his career the extra mile.

Uyo needs to be home

After more than a year away, the Super Eagles returned to Godswill Akpabio Stadium and it needed no evidence that it was a clear sigh of relief to be back. Gernot Rohr expressed his joy, likewise the players. As it stands, no other edifice in the country comes close to that of Uyo, and to this end, the NFF need to do everything to ensure the venue remains home. It has been a real fortress since 2015, with just one defeat coming there, and it’s best it continues that way.

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