Nigeria 1-1 South Africa: 3 mistakes coach Finidi George made in the game

Nigeria 1-1 South Africa: 3 mistakes coach Finidi George made in the game

Hassan Abdulsalam 23:38 - 07.06.2024

Super Eagles of Nigeria laboured to a 1-1 draw with South Africa, courtesy of a debut goal from Fisayo Dele-Bashiru.

Nigeria's World Cup qualification campaign stumbled slightly after a disappointing 1-1 draw against South Africa on Friday.

While there were positive aspects to the performance, some tactical decisions by coach Finidi George left room for improvement.

Nigeria endured a shaky first half, struggling to contain South Africa's attacks. T. Zwane capitalized on the defensive vulnerability to put Bafana Bafana ahead in the 29th minute.

However, the Super Eagles emerged from the break with renewed purpose as Fisayo Dele-Bashiru found the equalizer in the 46th minute, injecting much-needed momentum into the Nigerian team.

The second half saw a complete turnaround; Nigeria dominated possession and created a flurry of chances compared to their earlier struggles. Unfortunately, their finishing let them down, and they were left to rue those missed opportunities.

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Here are 3 mistakes made by the Super Eagles coach.

1. Lack of clear attacking strategy

The Super Eagles' attack looked disjointed, lacking a defined strategy to break down the South African defence.

There were few clear-cut chances created, but the team relied on individual moments of brilliance rather than a cohesive attacking plan.

The absence of Victor Oshimen played some vital role in the lack of structure in the attacking side.

A more structured approach with defined roles for attackers and midfielders could create more scoring opportunities.

2. Failure to adapt to South Africa's tactics

South Africa came into the match with a well-organized defensive approach to try and frustrate the Super Eagles and they executed it to perfection.

Nigeria seemed unprepared for this strategy, struggling to penetrate a compact defence throughout the match.

It is expected that coach Finidi George will learn to adapt his tactics mid-game to counter opponents' approach and find ways to exploit their weaknesses in subsequent games.

3. Questionable substitutions

With the scores level in normal time, coach Finidi George opted for a conservative approach with his substitutions.

This limited the impact of fresh legs and potentially stifled attacking creativity in the later stages.

Finidi George waited till the 80th minute before introducing Terem Moffi and Samuel Chukwueze, who offered bright sparks in their cameo appearances.

If both players and had entered the field of play earlier, who knows if Nigeria would have snatched all three points?

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will be in action again in three days' time when they face Benin on Monday, June 10th.