It was an amazing, yet surprising Monday afternoon for fans of Nigerian football as the Super Eagles put ten goals past The Falcons and the True Parrots in Agadir, Morocco.
The Sao Tome team had been beaten 5 – 1 by Guinea Bissau in their first match of the qualifiers and were hoping to catch a break against the Super Eagles. The match saw them lose by the second biggest goal margin in their history, the first being an 11 – 0 demolition by Congo in 1976.
For Nigerians, it was a performance worth praising even though it was against one of the lowest ranked teams in Africa. Also, new manager Jose Peseiro has effectively bought over most of his detractors with the outing in Morocco.
We will take a brief look at how he achieved this feat in the following sections.
Peseiro's tactical flexibility
The former Venezuela national team manager is known for his offensive football and it has shown in the way he has tried to fit both Joe Aribo and Alex Iwobi – two of our most creative midfielders – into the team.
But in the Sao Tome game, he returned to basics and used Oghenekaro Etebo in the holding role while Iwobi and Aribo were allowed to attack. Iwobi also had the added responsibility of returning to help in defence and this allowed the team to effectively shut their opponents out.
Peseiro proved that he can switch when need be and it gives Nigerians confidence of what is to come.
Spreading out responsibility
Peseiro's dedication to his offensive football philosophy means that everybody in the team has to be able to create or score. Against Mexico, it was Calvin Bassey who assisted Cyriel Dessers' goal. In that match, five different Super Eagles players had attempts at goal.
The case was similar against Ecuador and the match could have ended in Nigeria's favour but for the players' frivolousness in front of goal.
In the match against Sao Tome, there were six different goal scorers and five different assist providers. There were also a few chances created by Iwobi, Aribo and Etebo but Osimhen's penchant for straying into offside positions got the better of him.
This shows that the team is now more involved and as time goes on, it will even itself out.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago