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Nigeria Is Only Now 90 Minutes Away From Russia 2018 World Cup

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Nigeria Is Only Now 90 Minutes Away From Russia 2018 World Cup 1

Super Eagles will host the Chipolopolo of Zambia in their penultimate 2018 World Cup qualifier on Saturday realizing that a stunning triumph would secure the country’s 6th appearance since the first in 1994.

Nigeria 2-1 win in the first leg in Ndola 12 months ago helped get behind a team who had failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations consecutively,

It set the tone for the Super Eagles’ great battle in an intense Group B fixture, with Nigeria not dropping any points until matchday 4 in Yaounde. The stalemate in Yaounde, combined with Zambia winning in Algeria a month ago, meant the Chipolopolo are currently the only team between Nigeria and Russia World Cup.

Gernot Rohr will take much of the credits for the Eagle’s progress he has made since he assumed the role in July 2016.

Rohr is just an hour and a half far from his greatest achievement of a career that has taken him to the French club, Bordeaux, Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia and in addition the national teams of Niger, Burkina Faso, and Gabon.

“It will be an interesting but difficult game against Zambia, who we beat 2-1 in Ndola (last year), but they have changed (since).

 “It’s an important game and we have it in our hands to win. If we have our players fit, we will be at the World Cup.

“I hope we repeat what we did against Cameroon (4-0 win in Uyo).”

The backroom staff have praised Rohr for bringing self-belief to the side, both on and off the pitch, halfway through his two-year contract.

“He has done well, bringing the German mentality and organisation to bear on the whole team,” saluted former Nigeria striker Benedict Akwuegbu.

“The Eagles now play together, are tactically disciplined and they work very hard for each other.

“And he has played his best team always.”

“Rohr has got the team to deliver,” added sports journalist Arafat Aliu.

“He understands some of the politics in Nigeria and this has helped him in his team selection.”

On the pitch, skipper John Obi Mikel has led by example, Chelsea star Victor Moses has risen to the occasion and Leon Balogun has been nicknamed by an appreciative Rohr as ‘our German machine’.

Several young players, like Leicester City pair Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi and Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi, have stepped up to the full international game after gaining the first-team experience in the English Premier League.

Winger Moses’ class has never been in doubt, but many previously questioned his commitment to the national cause, with some suggestions that he picked which matches to play.

But he is the Eagles’ leading scorer on the road to Russia with three goals ahead of Mikel and Iheanacho, who have netted two each.

The confidence in the team once derided as “Super Chickens” has now gone beyond qualification, with some predicting Nigeria will surpass their previous best World Cup effort of reaching the last 16 in 1994 and 2014.

“In Brazil (2014), the Super Eagles were poor,” remarked Dutch coach Jo Bonfrere, who led Nigeria to a historic Olympic title in Atlanta 21 years ago.

“Now there is organisation in the team because the coach has put a good Super Eagles team together.”

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Africa

FIFA Congress To Decide Future Host Of FIFA Women’s World Cup™

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FIFA Congress To Decide Future Host Of FIFA Women’s World Cup™ 2

Council assigns FIFA Women’s World Cup™ hosting decision to the football governing body’s Congress; also approves financial statements for 2020 and budget for 2022.

Meeting by video conference, the Council conferred to the Congress the decision to award Women’s World Cup™ hosting rights.

Until now, the decision has been taken by the FIFA Council, most recently in June 2020 when the hosting rights for the 2023 edition were awarded to Australia and New Zealand.

As the football governing body seeks to raise the profile of the women’s game, this represents a significant step to bring the Women’s World Cup in line with the flagship men’s competition.

The proposal will be put forward for a final decision by the 71st FIFA Congress, which will meet virtually (for the second time) on 21 May.

FIFA Congress To Decide Future Host Of FIFA Women’s World Cup™

International match calendar and release of players.

The FIFA Council received a report on the international football situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bureau of the Council had extended to April 2021 the temporary amendments to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players regarding the release of players for international duty, and FIFA, the confederations, and its member associations remain in dialogue with national authorities about exemptions from quarantine rules for national team players.

READ ALSO: Mosengo-Omba Is CAF New General Secretary

The FIFA Council recognized that the highest priority in football is the health of the players, and therefore the discussion around the release of players for international duty must maintain this perspective, especially as the public health situation develops around the world.

2020 financials and 2022 budget

The Council also approved the organization’s Annual Report, which contains the financial statements for 2020 and the budget for 2022.

The FIFA Annual Report 2020 focuses on the role played by world football’s governing body in the fight against COVID-19, primarily through the unprecedented COVID-19 Relief Plan, which has made available USD 1.5 billion to support FIFA’s 211 member associations and the confederations through times of financial uncertainty.

The FIFA Annual Report 2020 is available on the official site.

FIFA Arab Cup 2021™

The Council approved the competition regulations for the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, confirming the match schedule and draw procedure for the competition taking place in Qatar from 1 to 18 December this year.

 

 

 

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Fédération Internationale de Football Association.

 

 

 

 

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Paul Onuachu: A Victim Of Tactical Deficiency

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Paul Onuachu: A Victim Of Tactical Deficiency

Ever wondered why Genk forward Paul Onuachu has always been a prolific figure for his club and find it hard to replicate that form with the Super Eagles when invited?

The Nigeria international has been in awesome form for the Blue-White, scoring 26 goals in the Jupiler League this season for Genk, while his scoring prowess at his club has been a contrast to his form with the national team under Gernot Rohr scoring just once in 9 games despite being a top performer at club level.

Ahead of the AFCON qualifier doubleheader against Lesotho and the Benin Republic, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr named his 23 man list with the inform former Midtjylland forward listed as one of the standby players.

Onuachu’s struggles with the Super Eagles in previous games he featured is quite baffling, considering the excitement that greeted his first appearance with the national team plus the impressive form he’s currently in.

The job of every manager is to find a suitable position or fashion out tactics that would be suitable for their players in other to blend with the team approaches to every match. In Onuachu’s case, he hasn’t been fortunate enough to blend in with Rohr’s tactics. While at club level, Midtjylland plays to his strength.

Paul Onuachu: A Victim Of Tactical Deficiency

However, due to Napoli’s players been restricted from traveling, the Genk forward made it through the backdoor to replace Gernot Rohr’s number one forward Victor Osimhen who hasn’t really hit the ground running with the ‘Partenopei‘, but when with the Eagles, he never fails to deliver.

It’s no doubt that the lanky striker has failed to deliver in his previous games, disappointing the ever-demanding Nigerian football enthusiasts with unforgiving backlashes from the fans. However, his prolific prowess with his club suggests otherwise and consistently makes a case for him to be integrated into the team with a different tactical approach that suits his style.

The era of a target man may have been long gone in football due to the advent of new tactics that have brought about a series of changes in the game. With managers preferring to go with a fast, skillful, or makeshift winger- kind of striker, instead of a target man.

READ ALSO: Super Eagles: 9 Players Who Netted On Debut

Looking at how Paul Onuachu plays with Genk upfront shows he’s one of the best target men in football, despite been perceived by many as a slow and old-fashioned kind of forward. However, John van den Bromm has been able to carve out a tactic that suits him which has been evident with his prolific form irrespective of his style of play.

Onuachu’s Super Eagle future might be on the knife-edge with Gernot Rohr not finding the right tactics that suit the Genk forward, especially with him not been consider as the go-to man despite his blistering runs of form in Belgium.

In recent times Rohr’s philosophy of vibrant attacking football with an emphasis on passing in the final third which requires the expertise of brilliant players to implement such tactics hasn’t really favored him.

Paul Onuachu: A Victim Of Tactical Deficiency

Having a player in the mold of Onuachu gives Rohr another tactical option and an alternative style of play should the initial approach fails to work as expected, but the German tactician hasn’t really taken advantage of what the man could offer with a different opponent.

Onuachu’s presence in the Super Eagles team should be an added advantage in terms of variety when the normal approach of the manager fails. With an in-form striker on the bench, it could prove valuable, but in the former Midtjylland’s case, Gernot Rohr doesn’t seem to see him as a player that has a future with the national team.

Players in the mold of the Nigerian are quite physically imposing as the point man, though they may not offer the team excellent off-the-ball movement in some cases. However, they often find a way to provide an opportunity which the team could utilize when attacking or defending.

Onuachu’s inability to show a good turn of pace and smart footwork may have been one of the deficiencies that are affecting his chances of blending perfectly into the team.

However, the job of a manager is to help players blend in perfectly, and that’s exactly what Gernot Rohr should be doing. Not only for Onuachu but for every other player who are always finding it hard to replicate club form with the National Team.

 

 

 

 

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