Nigerians hail excellent Super Eagles, Aguero fine after dizzy spell, Coach Sampaoli expresses worry
Nigerians have continued to hail the Super Eagles after they trounced Argentina 4-2 in a friendly match in Russian in a tune up for the Mundial in 2018. In Asaba, Delta State, thousands of fans took to the streets in jubilation chanting the name of their homeboy, Alex Iwobi, who scored a brace and had a spectacular performance in the match.
In Lagos, pubs and make-shift drinking joints bubbled with activities after the match. Mr Anthony Nwadiani, a pub owner, said he offered a few bottles of free drinks to loyal customers after the match. “We have never beaten Argentina and it is a sign of good things to come. Their Messy did not play but our own Victor Moses did not play too, so they cancel out.
Also Mr. Akinade Onigbinde, coach of FRSC FC of Abuja, described Super Eagles as “truly super” , adding that the victory was deserving.
He said that Nigeria’s global ranking in football would definitely appreciate with the friendly match results.
He added that “we out-marked the Argentines in almost every aspect with full confidence and determination.”
The coach, who reiterated his confidence in the Super Eagles, called for more grade A friendlies ahead of the World Cup.
Meanwhile, Argentina striker, Sergio Aguero, who collapsed in the dressing room at halftime has now recovered.
The Argentine Football Federation (AFA) said in a statement that Aguero, who scored in the first half of the friendly, was taken away for routine examinations but added: “The player is well”.
His English Premier League club Manchester City said the 29-year-old Aguero had been cleared by doctors to return to England as planned after he suffered what they called “a dizzy spell”.
“Sergio never lost consciousness, and was taken to hospital for precautionary medical checks,” City said on their official website (www.mancity.com).
Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli rested Lionel Messi following the 1-0 win over next year’s World Cup hosts Russia on Saturday and it seemed that they could cope without him.
Ever Banega curled in a free kick, awarded after Nigeria goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi picked the ball up outside his area, in the 28th minute. Akpeyi did not have a good match, he was panicky.
Aguero finished off a sweeping counter-attack eight minutes later to make it 2-0 before Kelechi Iheanacho inspired Nigeria’s fight-back, after he emulated Banega by scoring from a free kick on the stroke of halftime.
He then set up the equaliser by pulling the ball back for Alex Iwobi to net seven minutes after the re-start.
The Super Eagles took the lead two minutes after that when Brian Idowu side-footed home from the edge of the area to finish off a counter attack.
A superb goal by Iwobi completed the comeback in the 73rd minute as he collected the ball, slipped it between Javier Mascherano’s legs and fired past Agustin Marchesin.
Argentina staggered through their World Cup qualifying campaign, only clinching their place at the finals with a 3-1 win in Ecuador in their final match.
“It’s a difficult game to explain,“ said Sampaoli. ”We could have been 3-0 or 4-0 ahead in the first half and we went in with a 2-1 lead.
“My biggest worry was the way the team played when we were behind.
“I know we are capable and have the individual talent to be able to get out of these situations and I‘m worried about what happened tonight.
“We played an incredible first half but we lost our way in a match which could confuse a lot of people.”