A 1-0 loss for Nigeria on Friday, June 4, 2021, was followed by a goalless draw on Tuesday, June 8.
These are five things we learnt from the game
1. Are the Super Eagles improving?
While Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr continues to speak of his team’s progress, results continue to suggest otherwise.
In two games against Cameroon, his side could not score and failed to win any of them.
It continues a woeful run of winless friendly games since the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Even when you stretch it back to the whole of Rohr’s stint as Super Eagles boss so far, Nigeria has won just five out of 19 friendly games.
These are not good numbers.
2. Paul Onuachu fails to convince
Paul Onuachu’s 35-goal season for Genk was a stick to beat Rohr, who never seemed keen on the striker.
But the big man’s performance in both games against Cameroon will give respite to the Super Eagles coach.
Onuachu looked laboured. He struggled to get into the right positions and offered nothing with the ball on his feet.
There might be good reasons for his poor outings, but in the meantime, Rohr is right. The Genk man is not the Super Eagles’ first-choice striker yet.
3. Ahmed Musa has nothing more to offer
President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick has since confirmed that he forced Ahmed Musa on Rohr despite the forward playing in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Musa played in two games and showed he’s not at the Super Eagles level anymore. He might be one day, but until then, he’s offering nothing.
He looked out of pace in both games. He could not trouble his markers and struggled to make any impact.
4. Kelechi Iheanacho needs the Leicester City role
Following the resurgence of his career, Kelechi Iheanacho is now among the first names on the Super Eagles XI, but to get the best out of him, he needs to his Leicester City role to thrive with the national team.
Iheanacho played from the wings in the first game and was not in it at all. He is not a winger. He possesses neither the robustness nor the pace to get himself into dangerous areas, so he was almost useless in the first game against Cameroon.
In the second game, he played from the midfield, where he played better. A goal out of his two misses late in the game would have decisive for the Super Eagles.
5. Alex Iwobi’s CM role
Iwobi’s favourite position is the No.10 role, which he majorly played for the Super Eagles since 2018.
But his lack of good final balls has not done his numbers any good. Despite his good works in some games, he always lets himself down with his final balls. For example, it happened in the first game against Cameroon.
In the second game, he played in a withdrawn central midfield role alongside Wilfred Ndidi. With the sole responsibility of creating from the middle shredded, Iwobi thrived.
Bringing lots of dynamism and drive from the middle.
As long as Iheanacho is on the starting XI, Rohr must continue exploring Iwobi as a CM.