Jamilu Collins Super Eagles Man of Match – Score Nigeria
On Tuesday, the Super Eagles played their second World Cup 2022 qualifying match away to Cape Verde at the Estadio Municipal Aderito Sena.
Due to UK Covid-19 guidelines, which had Cape Verde as one of the red-listed countries, many of the Super Eagles usual starters could not play as they had to make an early return.
Despite missing many first-team players, Nigeria still managed to squeeze out an important victory.
And one of the important factors for this victory was Jamilu Collins. In a team that had some new faces and in a performance that lack fluidity as whole, Jamilu Collins made himself a standout player through his maturity in defence and attack.
What the Coach Wanted from Him
Jamilu Collins was used in his usual left back (3) position in a 1-4-4-2. Naturally as a full back he always has the primary job of defending, but it seemed that, in this game, Gernot Rohr gave him freedom to get forward (more so than the right back, Shehu Abdullahi) and contribute to the attack.
Since one of Nigeria’s tactics was to use the skillful dribbling of the flank players to try to create chances, Collins always had to make sure he was always in position to win the ball back in case the left midfielder, Ejuke, lost the ball.
Offensively, Collins tried to overlap when Ejuke would dribble the ball inside or drift inside and away from the touchline.
He was expected to help maintain organisation when defending, especially since Cape Verde tactics emphasized width.
He also had the role of taking long throw-ins.
What He Did
Jamilu Collins definitely played to expectations as he was able to maintain good discipline and energy in a side that had a couple of inexperienced players.
Defensively he made many crucial tackles and blocks, both inside and outside his box.
Offensively he was always there to support Ejuke in the final third. He also tried to get crosses into the box on several occasions, with one leading to the equalising goal for the Super Eagles.
In the 30th minute of the match Collins made a driven cross that led to a mis-kick from Cape Verde defender Kelvin Peres, which then fell into the path of Victor Osimhen before he tapped the ball into the back of the net. This made the scores 1-1 and brought Nigeria back into the game.
In the latter stages of the match, he also made a crucial block that could have led to the equalising goal for Cape Verde.
In a match that had more inexperienced players in the lineup than the team was used to, Jamilu Collins showed a calm head and put on a steady performance that made him the most crucial player for Nigeria.
His attacking and defending were important in helping Nigeria find the equaliser and then protect the lead after their second goal.
This match also made a good case for him in the competition for who should be the starting left back between him and Zaidu Sanusi.
By Adeyanju Abiodun
H&B Global Sports
Source: Score Nigeria
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