Red hot Ighalo saves slippery Eagles blushes
They almost fluffed it. In fact, they surrendered a 2-goal lead to languid nonchalance that Nigerians have grown accosted with over the years from flocks after flocks of Super Eagles. Displays that irritate and instigate fans to turn on them. They started like a house on fire, beaming with the desire that propelled them to beat this same Libya side 4-0 last Saturday. Dripping of brimstone and fire, Eagles raced to a 2-goal lead within the first 15 minutes. A good team play between Alex Iwobi and Ahmed Musa cooked up a simple tap-in for Odion Ighalo before Musa doubled it with a tenacious solo-effort that had him elude 3 Libyans. And their leftover drive and hunger dried up.
Gernot Rohr, who recycled the same line-up as Saturday’s mauling, had said, confidently before the game, that the team would repeat the desire that they showed in Uyo but even he, himself, couldn’t endure the torment that his team’s inexplicable tardiness brought. They let the Mediterranean Knights wrestle the game from their grasp and they paid for it.
Ola Aina was caught ball-watching while his marker, Mohammed Zubya reacted quicker to nod in from the far post and deservedly halved the deficit for the Knights. The goal, however, didn’t jack the Eagles awake from their slumber, instead it slipped them deeper into an almost comatose state as the Knights enforced themselves on the game. Ahmad Benali, after gluts of close-calls, completed the comeback. The Eagles defense reacted late to a strayed header in the box which gave the Crotone man the space to smash the ball beyond a prone Francis Uzoho.
But from the foggy mist of the lackluster performance, rose Ighalo and he drafted the winner from absolute nothing. Closed up at the edge of the 18-yard. He swivelled and feigned a shot, sending Motasem Sabbou sprawling on the lawn. Another touch to quiet under control and he slotted it beyond the Libyan goalkeeper.
In just to 2 games, he’s scored more goals than he’d managed in 2 years in the shirt of the Super Eagles. His blistering form saved jittery Eagles blushes.