Monday, 24 June 2013

Nigeria 0-3 Spain: The Super Eagles crash out │ Mikel Obi too critical

Poor finishing 
The Super Eagles were sent packing from the confederations cup yesterday night after losing to world champions Spain. Honestly, any Nigerian supporter expecting the Super Eagles to defy the odds and qualify after their defeat against Uruguay was bound to be disappointed.
In a game of such importance, you'd expect the boys to be fully focused from the first minute but that wasn't the case as Spain were allowed too much freedom from the beginning. Iniesta was the first to test Enyeama  after going past the Nigerian defense with ease.
The Nigerians didn't take that as a warning and they let Jordi Alba get past three of them to coolly slot the ball in to the bottom corner.
We quickly got back to life after conceding and began to cause the Spaniards problems. Sunday Mba tested Valdes with a stinging drive after getting on the end of a rare Brown Ideye pass.
With some few minutes before the half time whistle, We put our foot off the gas, allowing the Spaniards numerous chances to extend their lead. Soldado failed to score on two occasions as Enyeama did well to deny him while Fabregas sent an effort crashing against the post, luckily for us Enyeama was able to gather.
The second half saw more horrible finishing from the Super Eagles as Musa got down the right flank and squared the ball in to the path of Ideye who contrived to  completely miss the ball. Soon after, the Spaniards scored a second goal courtesy of substitutes Silva and Torres who sent a flying head in to the net as a move left the Nigerian defense static.
There was still time for some shocking finishing from the Nigerian strikers as Musa and substitute Gambo wasted chances to get at least a consolation goal for their team.
Jordi Alba though, had enough of this wastefulness. He received a long pass from Silva and    had only the keeper to beat which he did quite easily slotting the ball in to an empty net.
As the referee blew the final whistle, Spain and Uruguay (After thrashing Tahiti) 8-0 are the teams to advance in the competition.
Mikel Obi played well in midfield, making tackles and often going on slaloming runs. After the match he said:
“We came out to defeat the Spanish side and I think we may have even had the better possession against the World Champions but we simply did not take our chances and they took theirs, so we paid for our mistakes and are now heading out of the championship."
I don't think there was any point in the game where Nigeria had more possession. The least possession of the ball the Spaniards had during the match was 54%.
They also had 17 shots on target compared to our 8. So we shouldn't put the blame entirely on our strikers' inability to put the ball in the back of the net.
Even though they should have done a lot better, they were playing a team that have gone 24 games undefeated. Like somebody said yesterday that it was 8 Barcelona players, 2 Real Madrid players against the Nigerians.
Steven Keshi must ensure that lessons have been learned and work on doing better in the World cup finals next year.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Boko Haram chase thousands out of Borno villages │Preview: Nigeria vs Spain

Boko Haram: Resign or die

The Boko Haram are on the offensive again in Borno state amid the state of emergency rule imposed by the president.They have regrouped and have threatened to kill every last one of civil servants in the Towns of Bama and Gwoza. A person who fled to Maiduguri had this to say:
''They warned government officials and civil servants in Bama to resign or else face death in the next seven days. We are all scared, this could be more deadly, so we ran for our dear lives,” 
While a police officer said:
 Boko Haram fighters were ransacking homes in neighboring Gwoza district, forcing residents to hide in caves in the rocky hills.
Bama  and Gwoza are towns where the insurgents have a stronghold, few weeks ago in Bama about 60 people were killed including police men, soldiers and civilians.
After many troops were deployed in the state as the Government went on the offensive to  bring an end to the saga, the JTF raided and dislodged the terrorists from their camps.
But it seems that they have regrouped and are now issuing threats to Government officials to leave their jobs or face death.
You cant really tell what is happening. Are the JTF acquiring enough intelligence to capture these terrorists? Do they have a detailed plan of attack without resulting to massive civilian casualties? Are the security forces ready to control the exodus that will ensure in the light of the situation. We can only hope they ready and can wrestle back control of these places back in the hands of the Government.  

Nigeria vs Spain

Nigeria play World champions Spain in their final Confederations Cup Group B game at the Estadio Castelao on Sunday.
Having lost to Uruguay in their last match, the Super eagles will need to win by at least four goals to qualify or hope that Uruguay fail to beat the footballing giants Tahiti.
Nigeria is likely bowing out because Spain rested  their first team players against Tahiti ( and still scored 10 goals) and will play a fresh first 11 with the likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Fabregas in the mix. Also, the Uruguayans know that they have to better Nigeria's result on the day when they take on minors Tahiti.
Although the Super eagles have a daunting task at hand, they should focus on winning the game so that they can bow out with their heads held high.
Hope the boys nick a win against the Furious reds! 

Friday, 21 June 2013

Nigeria 1-2 Uruguay: The Super Eagles downed by Centurion Forlan

If there was any chance that the Super Eagles might make it to the semifinals of the 2013 Confederations Cup, they must take at least a point against Uruguay to do that. After yesterdays defeat the destiny of the Super Eagles in this competition is definitely out of their hands.
The match kicked off with Uruguay looking the brighter of the two sides launching waves of attack on the Nigerian defense.
Although the Super Eagles to settled down, with Ahmed Musa in particular causing problems for the Uruguayan Center backs with his mazy runs down the left hand channel. It was Uruguay who broke the dead lock when Diego Forlan found Lugano with a ball fizzed across the Nigerian box. The defender kept his composure and found the back of the net with ease.
There were very few chances for either sides after that goal with Ideye being denied by a last ditch tackle by Perreira after He has been found by a lofted pass in to the box.
A nice move saw Nigeria equalize with 37 minutes on the clock, Ideye fed Mikel just outside the 18 yard box, He took the ball to his weaker left foot beating Lugano in the process and curled a delicious finish in to the top corner.
The Super Eagles began the second half with more intent but it was the South American champions who took the lead.
Mikel lost the ball to Suarez, who then passed it to Cavani. Cavani laid the ball to Forlan who fired a first time shot in to the top corner leaving Enyeama helpless.
From then all the Uruguayans did was to protect their lead and the Eagles had most of the possession for the last 20 minutes but couldn't do much with it. They lacked fire power upfront.
It was Uruguay who had chances to further extend their but Cavani was wasteful on two occasions.
The match  ended in favour of the South American champions moving them to second in the group behind World champions Spain. While the Nigerians have an outside chance of qualifying to the semifinal.
Vincent Enyaema had this to say after the defeat.

"It's like Rome, that wasn't built in a day. We have good players and we are trying to achieve good things. [Captaining the side] is amazing. A great feeling. There is no better thing to be in history,"
"Nobody would have believed that we would play this well. The bookmakers never gave us a chance. We forced Uruguay to defend all of the game.
"We are on the same page as Uruguay. We have three points, they have three points. They have a more easy game, and we have Spain, but nobody knows what can happen. Maybe we can do it."

We had more possession but apart from the goal by Mikel we didn't create clear cut chances. We shouldn't be talking about the match as if we just lost the final against Spain Tahiti, after having 100% possession and 50 shots on target.
Hope the boys get a result against Spain.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Confederations Cup:Nigeria vs Uruguay Preview | About 80 killed by Insurgents in Zamfara, Maiduguri

We start with the sad news of the what happened in Zamfara and Maiduguri yesterday. It doesn't make the start of  your day any good by waking up to hear that about 80 innocent people have been murdered, some in cold bold.
The Zamfara situation is worse than that of Maiduguri not only because of the number of causalities involved but because it is a place that is not accustomed to this kind of chaos. Most of the insurgency in Nigeria is based in the North East, probably due to the presence of Boko Haram there. The occurrence of similar events in the North West is strange to say the least.
About 60 people were killed during the incidence which occurred at 4:00 A.M., the invaders were Cattle Wrestlers that were chased down by the vigilante group in Kizara village a while ago. They came back in a vengeful murderous manner killing mostly men, leaving women and children harm free.
The Commissioner of Police Zamfara State Command, Mr. Akila Usman Gwary, who spoke to journalists said however that the official number of casualties is 32, but gave assurance that his command has in place, a team of policemen to maintain law and order in the area.
 While in Maiduguri, with the state of Emergency still in effect and with phalanx of JTF operatives still in place, suspected members of Boko Haram on Monday killed 22 persons in separate attacks. Apparently, the terrorists were on a revenge mission against youth vigilante groups '' Civilian JTF'' that have been hunting them. The casualties were mostly Fishermen numbering about 13 and 9 students were killed in a separate attack.
Boko haram through a letter claimed the responsibility of carrying out the attacks stating that they have declared a war against youth vigilante groups working together with JTF to capture their members.
The youths remain upbeat though, according to some reports.
They are in a really difficult situation, aren't they? if they fold their arms and do nothing, suspicions and arrest by the  JTF, of them being members of Boko haram will continue. Now that they have volunteered to fight for their safety they have made a new enemy in Boko Haram.
 The sooner the JTF conclude it task the better for all involved, the JTF shouldn't seek the help of any civilians to capture armed and dangerous terrorists. The civilians are not trained to do that, they should only be used to acquire vital information about the terrorists.
Now on to things that are not all doom and gloom, Nigeria play Uruguay tonight in a game that is of paramount importance to our chance of qualifying to the semis. The Super Eagles need to get a good result if we are to make progress in this competition, We need to cut out the profligacy that saw us waste many chances against Tahiti.
The team should be confident of getting a good result tonight, Uruguay weren't that good against Spain and coming to play us off the back of a defeat, they will be under tremendous amount of pressure. So we should press them high up the pitch, work hard and take our chances as there won't be as many as we had against Tahiti.
From what I've been hearing it seems Ideye is going to start up front. If this is true then, He has to be more efficient in front of goal, the last thing we need is to rue our missed chances after loosing the game.
Uruguay have some dangerous players, whom, when given the chance can hurt us. We should be very careful with Cavani, he is one of the best strikers in the world. Suarez also should be handled carefully because he is a very good finisher, mischievous diver and tends to bite his opponents.
All right that's me done for the day. See you tomorrow after a big win (hopefully).

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Nigeria: Looking for light at the end of the tunnel

As a regular Nigerian i find it difficult to understand my proclivity towards a better Nigeria, a Nigeria without early morning mayhem, one without all the chaos an ideal state would like to elude. After thoughtfully analyzing the situation Nigeria is in, I realized that nothing will change until we Nigerians change.
You can say what ever you want about the Government, how corrupted it is, the abject security conditions, unemployment, hypocritical journalism... the list goes on.
Nigerians all over the world must show an enormous amount of hunger for change by changing the way we do things whether at Home, in the Office or Abroad. We must put the National interest above all other interests. Our religious, Ethnic and Personal interest must come second to the interest of the Nation.
As we keep hoping things will change it is headlines like this that destroys our positive energy and view on things.  

22 Killed As Boko Haram......

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