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‘Ighalo’s replacement, new defence combo’ — 5 takeaways from Nigeria-Benin clash

‘Ighalo’s replacement, new defence combo’ — 5 takeaways from Nigeria-Benin clash
November 14
09:23 2019

Like the Trojans, the Super Eagles of Nigeria went to the battlefield and emerged as conquerors.

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They gallantly fought back to earn three priceless points against Benin Republic in the day 1 of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers.

Former West Bromwich Albion star, Stephane Sessegnon, silenced the noisy hosts after capitalising on a defensive gaffe by the three-time African champions.

Eagles showed quality to launch a fightback. Striker Victor Osimhen equalised from the penalty spot before Samuel Kalu completed the fightback in the 63rd minute.

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At the end of proceedings, the Eagles picked a 2-1 victory at the gigantic Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.

Following the conclusion of the highly entertaining West African derby, here are five takeaways from the cracker.

New combo has been found

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The central defence partnership of Semi Ajayi and William Troost-Ekong looked stable. The duo covered up for each other when there was a need for it. They clearly gave coach Gernot Rohr every reason to have a selection headache ahead of future assignments.

Aribo, Ndidi clique

Jo Aribo and Wilfred Ndidi are getting better. They squeezed the opposition and passed the ball around with ease. It will take a miracle for Oghenekaro Etebo to break this clique.

The new number 9 has come to stay

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Lots of questions were asked following the retirement of Odion Ighalo at AFCON. Victor Osimhen has proved beyond reasonable doubt that he is the man to deliver the goods. He popped up to dispatch the spot-kick. The boy is in the form of his life.

Samuel Kalu the match-winner

When Super Eagles needed a saviour in a tight contest with Benin Republic, it was Samuel Kalu that turned up to deliver the goods. He was very sharp at the flank.

The fans were patient

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Despite trailing the Squirrels 1-0, the fans kept on singing the song of victory and gingered the boys. They played the role of the 12th man. The 12th man kept hope alive, and hope, they say, never fails.

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