AFCON U-17: Poor Finishing, and Substitutions Eaglets Bane against Morocco
Nigeria’s U-17 team, the Golden Eaglets, suffered a 1-0 defeat against Morocco in their second AFCON U-17 game despite dominating play.
The game began with an own goal by Tochukwu Ogboji in the second minute of the game, which proved to be the only goal of the match.
Though the Golden Eaglets were the better team in possession, corners, and shots on target, they failed to capitalize on their advantages. The team’s performance highlighted several key takeaways.
1. Ugbade’s Questionable Substitutions
Unless there are other things unknown to us, Ugbade’s substitutions were poor today just as they were in the first game.
Captain Precious Williams was by far the best player on the field alongside Yahaya Lawali but for some reasons obvious to only Ugbade he took him out.
And as if that was not enough mistake, he then took out Favour Daniel who was also making an effort to get the team going.
Taking both players out and leaving Abubakar Abdullahi on the pitch was a huge blunder.
2. Poor Finishing, Personal Glory
Apart from the captains Precious Williams, and Yahaya Lawali the rest of the outfield players were out to impress themselves and some people in the stand.
On different occasions when a simple pass to an open player would have given the team a goal, they went for individual glory.
Aside from selfishness, the attackers simply can’t score a goal to save their lives, they were wasteful in front of the goal.
While they did a good job of building up play from the back, they just messed up all the efforts once they got to the final third.
3. Keep an eye on Yahaya Lawali
Yahaya Lawali won his second man of the match award despite ending up on the losing side. He was a menace on the right flank, running the show with ease.
He played the last 25 minutes of the game as a midfielder and bossed the position too.
Other notable mentions are Goalkeeper Richard Odoh not tested much but did his job when called to action.
Captain Precious Williams is another player who stood out from others, his understanding of the game is worth mentioning. Drifted wide, played centrally, came to the midfield to get the ball, and won more than 5 fouls.
4. Good Team Dynamic… But
Lastly, kudos to Nduka Ugbade on the job done on the boys, they looked like a well-coached team. They played with confidence not seen in any Nigerian team in a while.
Build-up play from the back was not afraid to dictate the tempo of the game, recycled the ball well, it looked like they could do every other thing apart from scoring a goal.
They are not out yet, they can still make the last 8 if they avoid defeat in their last game against South Africa and hope all other results favour them.
If they can work on their poor finishing, they can win the title, they are that good!