Argentina, Familiar Foes, What Super Eagles Should Guard Against

By Paul Iregbenu

Super Eagles rose to the occasion in the match against Iceland after actually being inept in their first FIFA world cup match against Croatia. The constructive backlash they received did the job, wiping their lazy buttocks up to an abruptly hardworking and determined team. The Super Eagles showed the die-hard spirit they are being known. Now the much needed win has been gotten, the wall between us and the knock-out stages is Argentina. Yeah, Argentina, familiar foes.

Beating Argentina is a long call and an uphill task, all hands must be on deck. The Super Eagles have not beaten Argentina before on the senior level competitively. Not that the efforts and spirits have not been there, the Argentines have always found a way to beat the Super Eagles. All hope is not lost though. An exact repeat of Super Eagles' performance against Iceland can break the jinx.

Meeting Argentina now is what any decent team can wish for. Many of the Argentina team have age telling on them, however, caution must not be thrown away because they contain a world class player, Lionel Messi who has always come out victorious in matches against Nigeria in all cadres. He has the artistry to mastermind the downfall of any team so concentration must not slack in the field of play.

What comes to mind now is: What can the Super Eagles do differently to surmount this mountain before them? It is always said, do not change the winning team. So Gernot Rohr should stick up with the winning team and fire them up, making them forget the victory over Iceland and assuming the garb of discipline. Yeah, Super Eagles must be disciplined. In matches against Argentina in the past, the Super Eagles have in a way, found their way to come out tops in their display but some seconds of indiscipline have seen them lost these matches. The Super Eagles must watch their ability to be disciplined.In this World Cup so far, some smacks of indiscipline have been recorded by the Super Eagles. In the match against Croatia, we saw how Ekong fully "embraced" the Croatian opponent that attracted a penalty. Against Iceland, penalty was awarded against the Super Eagles after Ebuehi inadvertently kicked the Icelandish player in the penalty box. Against the Argentina, this indiscipline should be guarded against seriously.

The current Argentine team are poor and could be dubious in the next match against Super Eagles on Tuesday, knowing that they have a chance to proceed if they win the Super Eagles. Questions will be asked about the Super Eagles' discipline. Concentration should be topnotch to avoid heeding to their whim and caprices. Attention should be paid to little details like the position of players and the choice of players. Winning a match such as this demands a high level of concentration and discipline from the start to the end of the match. The Super Eagles can attain this level given what we saw in the Iceland match. The Super Eagles are encouraged now to attain such needed height to deliver a heavy blow to the Argentines. A first competitive victory over the Argentines will be very much savoured. It will be an icing to the cake couple to the news of the complete remission of their goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme from Leukemia.