by ‘Ifreke Inyang
Payback for Messi
When Nigeria faced Argentina at the last World Cup in South Africa, it was a personal duel between Lionel Messi and Vincent Enyeama. The Lille goalkeeper repelled the Barcelona forward time and time again, even though Gabriel Heinze eventually secured a 1-0 win for the South Americans. In 2014, there was nothing Enyeama could do about Messi’s brace. The first was an emphatic finish from a loose ball inside the area, while the second was a sublime free-kick before half time.
Di Maria vs Enyeama
If Messi succeeded in breaking his jinx against Enyeama, Di Maria opened another personal duel with the Eagles vice-captain. It was the turn of the Real Madrid ace to be shut out by Enyeama.
Mikel Obi is not the answer
The Chelsea midfielder was simply pathetic in this game. Played with no pace, no desire and no skill. Many times, Mikel Obi who was the second best player behind Lionel Messi at the World Youth Championship in 2005, exposed his team-mates to counter-attacks with lazy passing and a lack of intensity in his pressing. This Nigeria team is crying out for a creative hub. Some who is truly worthy of that number 10 shirt Okocha once wore to acclaim.
Ahmed Musa comes of age
Where Mikel Obi was flopping for fun, Ahmed Musa covered himself in glory. Two minutes after Messi pounced, the winger received a pass from Babatunde Michael and curled in a glorious equaliser. Musa, who has been the butt of jokes among Nigerian fans, went on to level the scores again early in the second, with a supremely confident finish. More of that, Aboki!
It’s France up next!
Coming second in Group F, means that we face France in the round of 16. Anything can happen, but we have to up our game several notches, to cope with the likes of Blaise Matuidi and Paul Pogba in their midfield or Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud in their attack.
‘Ifreke Inyang tweets via @Ifreke