SPORTS : Iwobi’s second-half goal not enough as Super Eagles lose 1-2 to England

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This was the famous Wembley, where some of the most iconic football memories were made and there, were Nigerian players, living the dream they never thought will become reality.

Maybe that was why they were lethargic at first, looking dazed as England players zipped the ball around.

It was one of the poorest starts to a game in recent years for the Super Eagles.

Poor first half

It took the Three Lions a few seconds before they sliced the Super Eagles defence, Jesse Lingard playing a pass to Raheem Sterling who could not reach the ball.

England were getting all the balls and Kieran Trippier had a chance from a freekick which he curled over the wall forcing Francis Uzoho to dive well to save for a corner.

From the corner in the 10th minute, England got their first goal. Gary Cahill jumping to get his head on the cross past Uzoho and Ogenyi Onazi who jumped his highest but could not save with his head.

 

 

 

The momentum was with England as they continue to press the Super Eagles with Sterling causing problems with his pace.

Cahil threatened again from a corner and Joel Obi’s poor clearance got to Sterling whose shot was deflected for another corner.

 

In the 12th minute, Sterling allowed a pass from Dele Alli to roll past him and Williams Troost-Ekong, beating the Super Eagles defender with his pace but his chip went wide with only the Nigerian goalkeeper to beat.

Sterling and Harry Kane combined well in the 18th minute before the latter played a one-two with Ashley Young whose left-footed drive was brilliantly blocked in the box by Bryan Idowu.

10 minutes later, Lingard got on a low ball from Tripper into the box but Uzoho puts his hands to it to save for a corner which was defended well by the Super Eagles.

 

Nigerian goalkeeper Uzoho was having a good game, diving well to stop a Sterling cross from reaching an onrushing Tripper.

In the 36th minute, Nigeria got their first shot on target as Odion Ighalo shot straight at England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Less than a minute later, England doubled their lead through captain Kane whose shot from just outside escaped the grip of a diving Uzoho.

 

Turn-around

Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr rang the changes at half-time with Leon BalogunShehu AbdullahiJoel Obi and Onazi making their way for Kenneth OmeruoTyrone EbuehiJohn Ogu and Oghenakaro Etebo.

The Super Eagles also switched to back three of Ogu, Troost-Ekong and Omeruo while Iwobi came into midfield.

The daze of playing at Wembley was finally off and the Super Eagles were now in control.

It took them just two minutes after the restart to get their goal.

Mikel played a pass over the top to Ighalo whose shot after a brilliant turn beat Pickford but hit the post. Iwobi’s timely run into the box put him in a perfect position to score on the rebound.

 

It was all Super Eagles at this point as Iwobi exerted himself more into the game from the middle.

Victor Moses was a concern for the English from the left while Ighalo’s chaotic factor troubled the Three Lions.

Ahmed Musa came on for Moses and troubled England with his pace.

In the end, it will be easy for both sides to take. England the better side in the first half and could have scored more if Sterling had converted his chances.

With the second half in consideration, Super Eagles remarkable improvements under Rohr continues.

Iwobi’s goal was Nigeria’s first against England in three games while the Three Lions keep their record of not losing to an African side.

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