Zimbabwe 1-1 Nigeria: 3 Mourinho-esque changes made by Peseiro to steal a draw for the Super Eagles

Jose Peseiro channelled his inner Jose Mourinho in the Super Eagles' draw against Zimbabwe


Jose Peseiro channelled his inner Jose Mourinho in the Super Eagles' draw against Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe 1-1 Nigeria: 3 Mourinho-esque changes made by Peseiro to steal a draw for the Super Eagles

Tunde Young 19:36 - 20.11.2023

The Super Eagles of Nigeria came from behind to draw against Zimbabwe largely thanks to some changes made by coach Jose Peseiro.

The Super Eagles were held to yet another 1-1 draw in the World Cup qualifying series, this time against Zimbabwe in an away fixture played in Rwanda.

Zimbabwe proved to be a tough and formidable opponent, causing Nigeria lots of problems, especially in the first half but that changed in the second.

Super Eagles manager Jose Peseiro made some tactical adjustments to tilt the game in Nigeria's favour and although they ultimately fell short of a win, he should still get his flowers.

Under-fire Super Eagles boss, Jose Peseiro (Photo Credit: Modo Victor/X)

Peseiro's changes were similar to what his namesake, compatriot and close personal friend Jose Mourinho used to do in his prime years so the connection is not far-fetched.

So here are three ways in which Jose Mourinho influenced Jose Peseiro to change the game for Nigeria and help the Super Eagles steal a draw in Rwanda against Zimbabwe.

3 changes Peseiro made to help the Super Eagles against Zimbabwe

Halftime substitutions

Jose Peseiro witnessed the lethargic display of the Super Eagles in which they trailed 1-0 and knew instantly that something had to be done.

Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro | Imago,

He swung into action with a triple substitution at the start of the second half with Victor Boniface replacing Frank Onyeka to signal a change of shape from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2.

Kelechi Iheanacho also came in to replace debutant Nathan Tella on the right wing while Bright Osayi-Samuel was brought on for Ola Aina in a straight swap at the right back position.

Having the bravery to throw on three substitutions at halftime is a very Jose Mourinho thing to do, even more so when the input of the substitutes is assessed.

One of the substitutes, Iheanacho went on to score the equaliser with Boniface and Osayi-Samuel also contributing to a much improved second-half performance.

The Super Eagles were more direct

Peseiro's changes saw the Super Eagles become way more direct than they were in the first half, moving the ball with intent like a typical Mourinho team.

The Super Eagles only had one goal attempt in the first half on 49% possession as Zimbabwe were in full control because Nigeria were too passive.

Iheanacho was the hero for the Super Eagles || Credit: Imago

One can only imagine the rollicking and full hairdryer treatment Peseiro must have given the Super Eagles star in the dressing room at the Huye Stadium on Sunday.

The team became more direct in the second half with three attempts, one of which led to the crucial equaliser by Iheanacho.

The Super Eagles had 55% possession in the second half and played with an improved mentality to attack and hurt the opposition which was missing in the first half.

Moving the full-backs up the pitch

As earlier mentioned in the substitutions, Peseiro took off the more defensive Ola Aina and replaced him with the more attack-minded Bright Osayi-Samuel in the right fullback role.

Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro || Credit: Imago

And much later he also sent on Jamilu Collins to replace Bruno Onyemaechi at left-back in a bid to regain control by pushing his full-backs up the pitch.

This enabled the Super Eagles to maintain the width in typical Mourinho fashion and the team put in a lot more crosses than they did in the first half.

Peseiro gets a lot of stick for the results and performances but it is worth pointing out that he earned that draw for the Super Eagles, albeit after making the mistakes initially to begin with.

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