As a means of preparing for next year’s Under 23 assignments, I think this week’s friendly match against Costa Rica served a valuable purpose.
The Super Eagles lost 2:0 against the Costa Ricans in the early hours of this morning with goals from Duarte and Watson.
To be honest, I didn’t bother staying up to watch the match live because I had expected a massacre. But, based on the extended highlights that I have seen thus far, I now regret that decision.
The homebased Nigerian players should be lauded for putting up such a respectable performance against decent world cup bound team. Both of Costa Rica’s goals came directly or indirectly via set pieces which speaks to how resolute and robust the Super Eagles were in open play.
I guess the question is: what do I want from this sort of David and Goliath encounter?
– for the Super Eagles not to intimidated by the opponent.
– for Nigeria to generate edge-of-the-seat nail-biting moments.
– for Nigeria’s goalkeeper to produce breathtaking saves.
– for the players to execute thier plans professionally.
– for the match highlights to be re-watchable.
– and for a few Nigerian players to catch the eye.
The output produced by the under23-dominated Super Eagles yesterday ticked all the boxes above despite the loss that was – in truth – inevitable.
I implore the NFF to continue taking such opportunities to help expose Salisu Yusuf and his homebases-cum-Under23 Super Eagles to high caliber oppositions: this match against Costa Rica wasn’t a waste of time at all.
Well done to Yusuf and his boys. Nigeria must participate in the Paris 2024 Olympics men's soccer games. High profile friendlies like this one can only help the entire team acuminate their skills ahead of the task at hand.
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