DEMOLA OJO’S NILE NOTES

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Another Late Goal Wins It

The Eagles have shown a lot of resilience and game management so far at the 2019 AFCON, with many late goals to win games. They have also won four matches by a one-goal margin.

In their first two matches against Burundi and Guinea, they won games 1-0 by scoring after the seventieth minute.

Against Cameroon in the Round of 16,  they came back with two quick-fire goals after going into the break behind.

And yesterday against the South Africans, they left it till the 89th minute despite the pressure of losing a lead.

VAR Drama

Experiencing VAR at the stadium is a totally different experience from watching on TV.

The screens at the stadium don’t show replays so there’s so much tension and uncertainty.

First there was despair among the Nigerian fans when South Africa scored, then joy when the referee’s assistant’s flag went off.

Then there was confusion as many of the fans were unaware that VAR comes into effect at the quarter final stage.

Then it was back to despair as the referee signaled for a goal after what seemed like years of waiting.

Eagles’ First Nght Game

The heat in Egypt has been wearing with the daytime temperature in Cairo at 38 degrees Celsius yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Eagles have played all of their matches in Alexandria, which is slightly cooler but still well in the 30s.

Luckily, the Eagles’ first experience of playing in Cairo was at night. And it will be the same in the Semi Final against either Algeria or Ivory Coast.

Set Piece Kings

The Eagles have scored three of their seven goals from set plays, a notable statistic considering this has never been the forte of  the Super Eagles and African teams in general.

However, William Troost Ekong scored the winner off a corner kick yesterday, replicating his centre back partner Kenneth Omeruo’s winner against Guinea.

Nigeria’s first goal against Cameroon was the result of a free kick.

Set plays are an indication of a team spending time practicing in training and is a good sign as the Eagles advance into the semi finals.