REVIEW: African teams weaknesses exposed in World Cup

World Cup 2018 By: Iseghohi Odianosen | 19/06/2018

The World Cup tournament in Russia has really exposed the weakness of African teams just after one game played in the group stages

The African teams that have played so far in the Russia 2018 World Cup Group stage which include Egypt, Morocco, the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Tunisia is yet to record a draw let alone a win in their opening game and more surprisingly the manner they conceded goals seem to come from a similar way which is from “set piece,” it now look like the African teams are experiencing difficulties in dealing with that part of the game.

Looking at the games involved by the African countries it has been marred by poor set piece defence, the last minute goal conceded by Egypt in their opening game against Uruguay came from a set piece after a brilliant display with a much experience Uruguay side, the South American team was able to explore that weakness after they found it extremely hard to score from an open play.

In the 89th minute, Uruguay defender Gimenez scored a header from a set piece which gave Uruguay the needed three points.

The same can be said of the game against Morocco and Iran, the Atlas Lions of Morocco had a good game against Iran, they had the most of the ball possession, they dictated the game and most of the game was played in Iran’s half.

But the failure to handle a set piece towards the end of the game cost them the game after Iran got the need goal through an own goal.

The same weakness was exploited when Nigeria played Croatia in their first game, though the super eagles approached the game been too cautious and defended more than they attack against the Croats.

Croatia had more control of the ball than Nigeria in the midfield and they registered their first goal from a corner kick (set piece) and that gave Croatia the total control of the game before the scored the second goal in the second half via a penalty.

Tunisia fell to the same fate after they failed to handle a corner kick which led to the opener and towards the end of the game, Tunisia made the same mistake made by other African teams as they conceded a late time from set piece, which saw their effort dashed as the three lions claimed the whole points in the encounter.

African teams need to avoid such occurrence of conceding a late goal and work harder on the defence of set piece and sharpen their response on random movements and coverage of marking on set pieces and they should never pedal down when the game is not over.