By Desmond EKWUEME
Three goals in three games (averaging a goal per game) can be said to be a good performance if other teams aren’t scoring more.
We must not forget that one of the three games was an own goal. So it could be argued that Super Eagles have scored just two goals so far in this tournament leading to the knockout stage.
We have seen teams score three or four goals in a single game. This implies that if Super Eagles meet such high scoring teams in the knock out stage, it could be dicey if not dangerous.
Yes, you may say, no two games are same. You may equally say, the group stage of a tournament is far different from the knockout stages…but you cannot say high margin of goals won’t make a difference.
Goals win games…and a high scoring side is more likely to win especially if it meets a low scoring team like Super Eagles.
Suffice this to mean that the attack of the Super Eagles needs to wake up. So far, only Victor Osimhen has scored among Super Eagles attackers in this tournament.
William Troost-Ekong scored a penalty. This makes it a challenge for the forwards to roll up their sleeves, get down to serious work and begin to bang in the goals.
From the team’s first three games, we can literally conclude that the goal scoring job has been left for Osimhen…and ironically, he has not hit the kind of form his fans expect of him.
Going forward into the knockout stage, Super Eagles must beware of opponents who cannot only score more goals but also defend concretely.
We can still remember what happened in Cameroun a couple of years back in this same tournament. From the look of things, more top teams or countries in this tournament may exit before the semi-final leaving the lesser countries to take the ultimate shine in the end.
We must bear in mind that if there was no penalty against Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea Bissau defender didn’t score that own goal, Super Eagles would have played three draws in the group stage.