21 June 2018

Nigeria: Game Against Iceland Won't Be Easy for Eagles, Says Afolabi

Super Eagles former defender, Rabiu Afolabi has admitted that the Super Eagles won't have it easy against the Iceland side when they clash in the second group match of the ongoing Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The erstwhile Flying Eagles captain, however, expressed optimism on Nigeria's qualification to the second round of the competition.

"l expect a solid team of Iceland coming out as a unit, it's not going to be an easy game for us but with the quality of the players that we have no doubt we will come out victorious but everybody have to work for one another, the Icelanders don't play a fancy football, they play like a Warriors," Afolabi said.

He added: "Yes I'm very optimistic that the team can progress to the next round and I think that the coach has learnt based on the first game against Croatia.

We have good young players who are hungry for success. All what we need is to win against Iceland and Argentina to collect six points."

Afolabi who featured at the 2002 and 2010 World Cups in Korea/Japan and South Africa said that creativity coupled with quality leadership in the defense are major challenges faced by the team.

"Creativity is really lacking especially at the last quarter of the last game against Croatia. Odion Ighalo is a strong and lanky striker who can keep and shield the ball from the opponents but he was lonely against the world-class defenders.

The Croatian defenders had a numeric advantage over him mostly. However, he needs a constant support and runs from those whoever play along with him up front.

Quality of leadership and communication are missing at our defense, there's not enough of taking between the Goalkeeper and the defenders," he said.

Afolabi described the tie against the Croatians as trick. "I think the Eagles played decent match because the first game of every competition is always tricky.

I don't like to criticize the tactics of the coach because sitting on the fence is not easy but I think that the formation 4-2-3-1 was good but some players were used at a wrong position.


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