Nigeria: Eagles Fail in Last Friendly Against Czech Republic

7 June 2018

Super Eagles wednesday suffered 1-0 defeat in their last warm up game against Czech Republic before heading out to the World Cup in Russia yesterday.

The defeat is the third in a row in five warm up matches ahead of the Mundial kicking off in Russia in seven days from today.

Chelsea defender, Tomas Kalas, scored the only goal of the game in the first half of the encounter played at the Rudolf Tonn Stadium in Rannersdorf, Vienna, Austria.

Just like the friendly Nigeria lost to England 1-2 at the Wembley last Saturday, Eagles did not response to the barrage of attack until late after the return from the half time break.

Czech Republic who failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia deserved their victory. They created the better chances in the first half and deservedly took the lead after 25 minutes when Kalas slammed a rebound from goalkeeper Francis Uzoho.

Czech should have doubled the lead after half an hour, but their front-man blasted over the bar with Uzoho again badly exposed.

The pressure on Eagles defence was again a failure of the 4-3-3 pattern adopted by Coach Gernot Rohr. Life did not return for the Nigerian team until it shift to the 3-5-2 formation.

The only real attempt at goal by Eagles was thwarted as the Czech goalkeeper palmed away an Odion Ighalo goal-bound effort.

In the second half, Shehu Abdullahi gave way to Tyronne Ebuehi in the defence as to add pep to the Nigerian backline.

Victor Moses and Ighalo had half chances to at least level this game but they could not. Another last minute effort to increase tally for the Czech was saved by Uzoho.

Despite the defeat, there was some encouraging news for Eagles as Leicester City midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi, who had been out since April with a hamstring injury played all 90 minutes of the encounter.

Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr however insisted he was not sad by the defeat but hoping to ring changes before taking on Croatia on June 16 in Kaliningrad.

"We've nine days to be ready for our first match against Croatia, as at today we are not ready," Rohr was quoted on the official Twitter handle of the Super Eagles.

"I am not sad because of this result, the result that matters will be in Russia."

Their opening game at Russia 2018 is against Croatia in Kaliningrad on June 16 before taking on Iceland and Argentina in Group D of the Mundial.

NIGERIA'S STARTING XI VS CZECH REP:

Francis Uzoho, Shehu Abdullahi (Tyronne Ebuehi 46), Bryan Idowu (Elderson Echeijile), Leon Balogun, Troost Ekong - Wilfred Ndidi, John Ogu - Victor Moses (Ahmed Musa), Alex Iwobi, John Mikel Obi (Kelechi Iheanacho) - Odion Ighalo (Simeon Nwankwo)

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