Ukraine vs Nigeria: 5 things we learnt as Super Eagles are held in Dnipro

September 10, 2019
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The Super Eagles were held to a 2-2 draw by Ukraine in an international friendly on Tuesday.

Nigeria raced into a two-goal lead in the first half, thanks to goals from Joel Aribo and Victor Osimhen.

But the hosts pulled level in the second half within two minutes.

First, Oleksandr Zinchenko dribbled his way through to pull one back, before Roman Yaremchuk bundled in the equalizer.

So, what are the five things we learnt?

1. Uzoho stays number one: For all Gernot Rohr’s good intentions, making Daniel Akpeyi his number one goalkeeper at the 2019 AFCON, was a big blunder. Against Ukraine, Uzoho showed why he should never have been demoted. The 20-year-old was assured and assertive, pulling off a number of fine saves.

2. Mikel Obi, Ighalo out. Aribo, Osimhen in? Following the retirements of John Mikel Obi and Odion Ighalo, many Nigerians wondered who their replacements would be. Well, this game gave Rohr and fans a chance to see Aribo and Osimhen in action. And they gave a good account of themselves, with both players getting on the score sheet for good measure.

3. Lukewarm Iwobi: For some reason, Iwobi is not exactly improving as a footballer. He seems to have stalled a bit. The former Arsenal man can start a game on fire like he did today and then fizzle out. Iwobi was a passenger in the second half, playing some loose balls and should have scored when teed up by Osimhen.

4. Rohr’s in-game management: Rohr took a really long time to make substitutions, despite the fact it was a friendly and he could have changed the entire team if he pleased. Most of the players were not only tired in their legs, but in their minds. Which probably led to the late collapse.

5. Flying wingers: Samuel Kalu and Samuel Chukwueze were a constant thorn in the flesh of the Ukrainians all day, springing up with some fine combinations. They ran at the defence with glee, drawing fouls and a penalty. On the flip side, Moses Simon came on and was hugely disappointing down the left flank.

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