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Three key observations as Super Eagles exit AFCON 2021 

Three key observations as Super Eagles exit AFCON 2021  2

Nigeria’s dream of winning a fourth African Cup of Nations title has come to end after a 1 nil loss to the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia. 

Youssef Msakni’s long-range effort in the second half made the difference in the might as the North Africans qualified for the quarter-final despite losing two matches in the group stage. 

Nigeria becomes the latest title favorite to crash out of the tournament after Ghana and defending champions Algeria crashed out in the group stage. 

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Here are three key lessons from the match; 

  1. The Super Eagles look clueless without creativity from the wingers. 

All through the group stage matches, the Super used the wings as the major source of their creativity with Moses Simon and Samuel Chukwueze, and Chidera Ejuke causing “riots” on the flanks. 

However, the wingers were unable to create chances from the flanks against Tunisia as the North Africans closed the wingers down by at least two players which forced the Super Eagles to play long balls and long-range shots. 

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  1. Lack of Invention 

With the flanks shut down, the Super Eagles failed to create chances from the middle or any other sources which made the Tunisians a bit comfortable at the back. The Super Eagles’ attackers weren’t threatening enough. 

Also, the lone striker upfront was most often than not isolated each time a long ball came towards him. The communication between the forwards. 

The Tunisians practically forced the Super Eagles to play from the wings where the wingers were caged more or less. 

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  1. The Super Eagles will be back stronger

Even though the loss was disappointing, Nigerian fans can look forward to better days as the team turns their attention to the World Cup Playoffs where they will take on Ghana. 

By then, some of the players who missed out on the tournament due to injury and other reasons will make their return to the team. 

It was a painful loss no doubt but the team is without a doubt strong. Perhaps the incoming coach will complete Austin Eguavoen’s work by making a few tweaks either in terms of player additions or tactical adjustment.

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