How Super Eagles Can Cage Benin In 2021 AFCON Qualifier

With just a few days to the crucial 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Squirrels of Benin in Porto-Novo on March 27, Completesports correspondent, Augustine Akhilomen X-rays some of the key areas the Gernot Rohr-tutored team must focus on in order to pick maximum points.

Don’t Play Into Their Physical Style Of Play

It is not new that the Squirrels of Benin are better known in recent years for their physical style of football, which directly helps them to bully their opponents off the ball and gives the team the chance to penetrate freely.

To this end, Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr must avoid playing into their hands by challenging them physically. Good enough, we have quality players that know how to utilize the ball without applying the use of force. This will help to expose the Benin team and allow them to concede more fouls, thereby giving the Super Eagles the edge to penetrate into their 18-yard box.

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Total Concentration from the Defence

If our two encounters against Sierra Leone are anything to go by, then the Super Eagles have lots of work on their hands. Lack of concentration from our defenders despite leading 4-0 allowed the Lone Stars to make a remarkable comeback to end the game 4-4 at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.

As such, if Nigeria must overcome the Squirrels in Porto-Novo, Rohr must ensure the quartet of William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Ola Aina, and Tyronne Ebuehi are always on red alert. They must ensure that they tidy up their tackles and avoid any form of lack of concentration.

Watch Out For Benin Wing Play

The Super Eagles also have a lot of work to do in this area considering the fact that the Squirrels of Benin usually build their attack from the wing in order to put their opponents under pressure. The last time they came to Nigeria, recall that they made use of the wing to counter the Super Eagles.

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In this sort of situation, Rohr must deploy intelligent and mobile left and right fullbacks that will neutralize whatsoever threat they may want to pose against the Super Eagles.

Taking Goal-Scoring Chances

This is not a game where the team will be hoping for several chances to nail their opponent. A goal from a rare goal-scoring chance could just make a big difference and confine Benin to their first home defeat since 2013.

Rohr is blessed with an array of quality forwards such as Kelechi Iheanacho, who is banging in goals in England at will for Leicester City; Paul Onuachu who is also scoring freely in Belgium for Genk, Victor Osimhen, and Henry Onyekuru that are also doing pretty well in their respective clubs in Europe.

The players must take every chance that comes their way in order to bury Benin for good and end their AFCON dreams.

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