Dickson Etuhu

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Nigeria managed a goalless draw against Botswana on Saturday

Posted: 12 November 2011 Time: 19:43

Nigeria created a multitude of chances but inexplicably ended up with a goalless draw against Botswana in a friendly international in Benin City on Saturday evening.

An enthusiastic crowd turned up to cheer the Super Eagles to victory and left with positives to take home from an encouraging performance in Stephen Keshi's first game in charge.

Fegor Ogude rattled the upright, and Kalu Uche, his brother Ike and the lieks of Chinedu Obasi and Brown Ideye all had opportunities to put daylight between the Super Eagles and the Zebras, but were denied by brave defending, and some monster goalkeeping.

Starting on a clean slate with the new coach only having three training sessions with his players, the Eagles were keen to make amends for the Nations Cup disappointment and were quickly off the blocks, pinning the Zebras to their own half for much of the game.

But Botswana were not the first team to qualify for the Nations Cup for nothing, and they put men behind the ball in numbers, breaking forward only on the rare occasions when they won the ball.

And they almost reaped reward from one of those breaks when they hit the crossbar, although Vincent Enyeama looked to have got the slightest of fingertips to direct the ball there.

At the other end, young goalkeeper Kabelo Dambe gave his coach reason to look for headache pills as he kept out the red-eyed Nigerians.   Ike Uche, Joel Obi and Fegor Ogude all had efforts stopped by Dambe, and when he was beaten, he was rescued, first by his post, and then by a raft of bodies getting in the way.   Further opportunites came when Keshi tossed on his substitutes and the likes of Brown Ideye, Ahmed Musa and Chinedu Obasi also found Dambe hard to beat.   Bar the lack of goals, it proved to be a totally dominant performance from the Super Eagles.

But they will now need to find some way to put the ball in the back of the net.

Midfielder Dickson Etuhu, covered almost every inch of grass on the field and was deservedly voted man of the match, going home with a Samsung Galaxy Tab II.   Nigeria will next play Zambia on November 15 in Kaduna as they continue their rebuilding after missing out on the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. 

Previous comments on this story...

posted: 08:03 pm
do not speak from both sides of mouth. If you were tired of SIASIA's attacking, entertaining football resulting in 3.2 goals per game after the team was disbanned, then behind in the group of play after the U-23 coach managed the 1st leg game against Guniea YET no one here preached patience, then dont preach patience for Keshi because SIASIA too was rebuilding the team
posted: 08:06 pm
For how long shall we rebuild? Pls don't sack keshi o u NFF but sack urselves at d end of it all. A long-term plan is far more fair dan dis ur short-term plans o
posted: 08:08 pm
One sack has taken us 3 years back! 1 match is too early to judge but the Sunday that will be good is known by the Saturday. God help us
posted: 08:10 pm
you cant call for head of siasia after a short term when he was behind in the group after the qualification already started B$ he took over. YET no one remembered that and called for his head. No you want patience with Keshi.
the players are the problem and also the people in the head. you add the formation and player type (which i will fork up to bad coaching and you get this game.)
But before you start criticizing Keshi, it is after-all JUST ONE game.
posted: 08:12 pm
It is too early to evaluate Keshi. Let's wait a little bit more and see what he brings with him. But we all should not forget that Nigeria is no longer a powerhouse in Africa.
posted: 08:12 pm
Too early to make any comment as this is the first match. However, should the Eagles play this way against Zambia, there may be a problem in the offing for us as the next AFC and WC qualifiers are around the corner. I have said it severally to people that if a player does well in a team, the coach created the environment for him to excel. A lot attributed our non-qualification to the nations cup to Enyeama not called up, Ike Uche not starting. Today, Ike started and did not score.

NFF and the fans may just have to decide if truly we want to rebuild. Maybe, we should just sacrifice the 2013 ANC and 2014 WC and truly rebuild. I know the present players must be getting tired of the results that they have been getting of late. Probably, they should just give way and we can blend the U20 and U23 with other talents available because we have been using these same set of players and having the same results. How are we sure we will get it right with them? Better not to be in the next ANC and WC and be a true African representative in 2018 than to miss out on both because we still want to continue recycling.

Another question we have to answer is that who are the right people to take us there. It will be a disaster if when we are tired of firing and decide to do the right thing, the tinkerman may end up not to be real man for the job.

Let's wait for Tuesday to see what happens but should the match go the same way, NFF and the coaching crew must take drastic step: maybe draft Obuh to work with the coaches and let the foundation of the team be the last U20. The Botswanans are not that old and they play mostly at home and they are going to the next ANC. Who says Nigeria cannot do that?
posted: 08:13 pm
Keshi must be fired latest by Monday. Under his leadership, no AFCON 2013 OR World cup,2014. Mark my words. Lets get Sia1 back asap.
posted: 08:13 pm
Playing 4-4-2 against botswana, pls guys tell me what would be play'd against teams like ivory coast, ghana and their likes. Well we are rebuilding as every coach would say. Only God knws when d rebuilding process will end
posted: 08:23 pm
atleast i can see the fastness and speed in our boys today,lets wait and see if it will be more better, i like the zeal in them,though we did not score but i can see something diffrence in todays game......
posted: 08:26 pm
It is very obvious that the current SE needs total overhauling. What NFF has achieved so far is putting new wine in an old skin. If nation does not inject new blood into its national team, it will always remain underachieving. What we urgently must do is to scout for young and talented players who are hungry for name making to don our national colours. Some of the current players are tired legs who are living on past glories. A very tactical football federation would have create an avenue to graduate some of the skilfull players of the immediate past U-20 into the senior grade. Those boys played their hearts out in Colombia. Where are they now? Mikel Obi, despite his international exposure cannot match some those boys in natural skills and dynamo. Mr. Keshi should borrow a leaf from his former coach, Westerhof who took his time to scout the nook and cranny of the nation to extract raw talent from our local league. When some of these professionals report to the SE camp, they have used and spent by the pressure of their cash doling clubs in Europe. Spain, Holland, Germany and even Turkey to a large extent build the nucleus of their national teams from local sources. Brazil exports most of its players abroad and in the process dilutes their originality hence their struggle in competitive games. When your players are taken from professionals playing abroad, your arsenal is already half-exposed
posted: 08:32 pm
Speechless Speechless Speechless ---Michael Jackson.
posted: 08:40 pm
Nkata Offor
posted: 08:44 pm
@lappy thanks for your call last time but when will i have ur number? are u afraid? are not the one who says we are one Nigerian? can't u give me ur number as I gave mine out? little bit betrayals from u, give me ur number ok, we are oneNIG, @ umunede, HOW FAR NOW? Hahahahahahahaha, KESHI? Hahahahahahaha, NFA? hahahahahaha, Nigerian football? hahahaha, this is the beginning my brothers AND sisters, my hearts is out of Nigeran game,i am at LA-PALM BEACH WITH MY LOVELY WIFE AND MY THREE CHILDREN ENJOYING, MY WIFE LOVE KESHI AND I LOVE SIASIA AND SO WHAT? just some small time now we all will go to siasia house and beg him and his families to come back. Not that Keshi is not good but we all will regret of the sack of siasia who never lost any march, it is siasia or morihno. Nigeria will never score more dan i goal again, we are back to the amodu era again, anyone who stop full squads of Ghana black stars must go far, siasia did it 2008 and 2011 and Argentine 5-4 aggregate, you say sack him? hahahahahaha. MY PEOPLE OF wawawawawawa zozozozo biabiabiabiabia BEWARE.vision 2015 I STAND. NKATA OFFOR 1.
posted: 08:50 pm
@Segun, with all due respects, I disagree that it is too early to comment on Keshi's first match. He played with 3 holding/defensive minded midfielders. Ik Uche and Ekigho Ehiosun who he started up front, were not getting quality ba.lls, so they had to drop deep to get the ba.lls themselves. He put Joel Obi on the right side of the midfield, thereby making him play a strange position in his first match. In the second half, he substituted Ik Uche and Ekigho Ehiosun and brought in Ogbuke and Ahmed Musa - two wide men. With this style, who is the hatchet man to score the goals? Don't forget, he had Emenike, Brown Ideye and even the new guy he called up, Jude Aneke. Then he only brought in Ideye, who also had to drop deep to pick up ba.lls as he was not getting service.

While the defence and midfield did a good job of being mobile, getting the ba.ll to the attack was not effective.

Moreover, no player put in a match winning performance. Not one of them took on defenders and went for goal, they kept passing and passing and passing up goal-scoring opportunities. There off the ba.ll movement was very poor. Their positioning was also very poor.

They said we were using sentiments in supporting Siasia. Some went as far as calling Siasia a disaster, abi? I assure you we shall exhibit no sentiments in talking about Keshi. What is good for the goose is also good for the gander. It certainly not too early to assess Keshi.

If I were Keshi, I would get rid of Amokachi as assistant and appeal to Siasia to work together with him in the interest of national pride. Keshi is more defensive minded, Siasia is attackminded. If they agree to work together they just might form a formidable team. Amokachi is the real disaster.
Nkata Offor
posted: 08:50 pm
no comments yet from lappy?
Nkata Offor
posted: 08:51 pm
what of @umunede?
posted: 09:07 pm
@Nkata wih the way they kept abusing Siasia, they are too ashamed too ashamed to "show face". Keshi has not lived up to their expectations.....
posted: 09:07 pm
@Shijo, while I still have the feeling that if we have stuck with the status quo, the future was bright; I still maintain that it is too early to make any comment. Let's wait for two more matches. I said two because the qualifiers are around the corner except we have agreed to sacrifice those to get the Eagles into shape. I believe keshi experimented today to see what the players can do in real match situation. A repeat of today's performance in the next match will however portend serious danger ahead.

I back you on the claim on Amokachi. When he was shouting, saying he was the best and nothing better had happened to Nigeria soccer in the last decade except him, he never knew he was putting pressure on himself. He forgot that he also failed in his first test before he was given a second chance. Soccer is not football manager where being able to analyse and shape a team translates to automatic success. Now he is in the saddle, he will realize that time is needed to make a team gel. I wonder what he will tell Nigerians if things continue this way.

Let's keep our fingers crossed till Tuesday or Wednesday but the outcome of the match should determine what to do with the SE. The U20 team will not lose to Rwanda in the WC qual. It is not too late to make them the bedrock of the team if the present team will not fly. Better to miss out of ANC and WC with youngsters than missing out with experienced players nearing retirement.
posted: 09:13 pm
To all Nigerians, why una dey make people sad in all una comment, This is first match under the new coach and draw is not bad at all . The defender are very good and the midfielders are not bad, i watch the game and we are unlucky. The most did not enter the box, more than 8 times. Let us give the new coach chance to rebuild his team, make una no dey talk aboiut siasia again, make una forget about siasia, there is nothing una go talk in this forum or any other forum that can bring Siasia back as the SE coach foir now, may be in the future, Let us support the new coach and let us allow him to build his team , This is first match and just friendly match. That is why i like Ghanaians, I always respect Ghanians, They support each other , Can you belive that England can beat spain ?? this is just friendly match to build a team , make una have patient and let the new coach do his jobs , Habaa nigeria guys , i tire for una
posted: 09:16 pm
The greatest obstacle to our football is Aboki Maigari and NFF Technical committee(Okocha, Chukwu, Ikpeba, Onigbinde etc). I cant remember the last time Eagles fail to score at home. This committee are acting like small god to Aboki Maigari and NFF. They advised him to sack Siasia
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