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Opinion: Can the Super Eagles win the AFCON Trophy in 2021 based on their performance?

The Nigerian national team advanced to the next round of the ongoing African Cup of Nations after defeating Sudan 3-1 on Saturday. With the back-to-back victories, the Super Eagles have won their first two (2) matches in any African Cup of Nations (AFCON) they have participated in.

There is no doubt that the players' performance has improved under Augustine Eguavoen when compared to Gernot Rohr's tenure as coach. As a result, Nigerians can bet on the Super Eagles to win the trophy on February 6, 2022. The Super Eagles defeated Egypt, the country with the most African Cup of Nations victories, but that does not guarantee that they will win the trophy.

Inability to withstand pressure, particularly on the defensive line If the Super Eagles play a formidable team with quality attackers, Nigeria has a tendency to lose to such a team. Even after praising the players, Augustine Eguavoen admitted that Sudan made things difficult for the team. This demonstrates that if Nigeria faces a composed and formidable opponent, the Super Eagles may lose the game.

Nigerian midfielders are disjointed and incompatible. Wilfred Ndidi and Ayodele Aribo have yet to form a solid partnership. Unlike in the previous game against Egypt, the Sudan midfielders exposed the Nigerian midfield. If the Sudan attackers had been quality players, they could have probably equalized on Saturday, as the pressure was heavy on the Super Eagles defenders due to the midfield imbalance.

Despite winning convincingly by 3-1 goals against Sudan, the Super Eagles made the same mistakes they did in their first game against Egypt. In front of goals, the attackers were wasteful. If the team is to win the tournament, players like Kelechi Iheanacho, Taiwo Awoniyi, Samuel Chukwueze, and Moses Simon must learn to convert chances into goals.

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