England on Saturday in Wembley beat Nigeria 2-1 to expose the fact that the Super Eagles are not yet playing at a world cup level.
Within six minutes Chelsea strongman, Gary Cahill headed the Three Lions 1-0 in front off a corner kick, leaving Eagles keeper, Francis Uzoho with no chance. The Nigerian defender, who was to mark Cahill was caught ball watching and flat-footed.
Nigerian fans who expected a reaction from their team got none as England remained in charge and kept the Eagles defence busy. Raheem Sterling should have scored on the half hour mark when he played himself free but his right foot shot glazed over the cross bar to the relief of Nigerians.
But that did not last long as Harry Kane did better than his team mate when he drilled a low finish into the bottom corner after Sterling held up the ball for him, following a stroll into the Nigerian area after Eric Dier picked up a poor pass and sent his teammates forward. Nigerian goalkeeper, Uzoho looked horribly sorry as the ball went right through his grasp.
At that point, except for Alex Iwobi the Nigerian team was shocking. They played below expectations, especially after the 1-0 victory over Poland in Wroclaw in March.
By way of creativity, Nigeria offered nothing, especially in the final third, reminding the fans that there still has been no replacement for Jay-Jay Okocha.
The Super Eagles pepped up their game on resumption of the second half and came firing back. Two minutes later, Iwobi’s lone efforts were rewarded when he pulled one back for Nigeria. It was a fantastic finish by the Arsenal forward, with his left foot. And the Nigerian fans suddenly founded their voice again, singing away.
Nigerians continued to play better in the second and searched desperately for the leveller. But The Three Lions held on to their lead.
Despite Nigeria playing well in the second half, the match against England has again revealed that they lack the creativity that matters at the highest level.