By Diegwu Nwankwor
Editor In Chief Diegwu Sports
The Super Eagles will play in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finalfor the 15th time after they beat South Africa 2-1 on Wednesday.
Samuel Chukwueze put the Super Eagles ahead in the first half, before Bongani Zungu levelled for South Africa.
William Troost-Ekong headed in a 90th minute winner to break the hearts of the South Africans.
Here are the five things I have learnt from this exciting quarter-final match.
- Chukwueze is a star:
That is the first thing that comes to mind after watching 90minutes of that game. The U17 World Cup winner was a consistent menace for the South Africans all through, with his zippy movements and velvet dribbling skills. Glad that Gernor Rohr picked him and he also scored his first goal for Nigeria.
2. Musa justifies his selection:
Before this game, Rohr went on and on about Musa’s experience, as the reason he is selecting the Al Nassr winger ahead of Henry Onyekuru. Once again, Musa was a handful throughout the match. He was full of pace throughout the encounter and kept taking on the defenders. However, he needs to work on his final balls inside the box. The Super Eagles would have been out of sight had he done better in his final passes.
3. Flexible Super Eagles:
After defeating a highly physical Cameroon it was interesting to see how the team was going to deal with a technical South Africa side. Rhor perfectly master minded this on Wednesday night by beating South Africa to their own game. Our wingers were so present in the match that the opposition wingers were almost not visible through out the match. In fact until South Africa goal they had not had a shot on target.
Madagascar defeat has brought the beast out of the Super Eagles: After Wednesday’s win over South Africa one could barely remember how poor the Eagles were after losing to minors Madagascar. Credit to Rohr, who indeed has turned around the futures o the side who to their own credit have risen up to the expectations of the difficult knockout phase. Indeed the Madagascar defeat was a huge call to other for both the players and the coaching staff. A shameful defeat that shouldn’t be allowed to repeat itself.
5. The Scary Fighting Never Give Up Spirit:
The Super Eagles through out the tournament has shown a constant character trait. THEY NEVER GIVE UP. After securing back back late wins against Burundi and Guinea, the Eagles used the gear by producing a memorable come back win against defending champions Cameroon having trailed 1-2 at halftime.
Just when we were thinking that we have seen it all they produced another late win against Bafana Bafana in the quarter finals. This is a character we haven’t seen from the team in a long long time. A character which head coach Gernot Rohr pointed out as the reason responsible for their win in the quarter finals. I could add that this character might have already given us an advantage going into the semifinals against either Algeria or Cote d’Ivoire.
The mental character which they have displayed at this tournament is something many Nigerians around the world will love to see remain in the team. In fact this great mental strength exhibited by the Super Eagles is something that should be embedded across all National teams.
Chief Writer Diegwu Sports
Facebook: Diegwu Nwankwor