'Super Eagles defence lacked coordination in Portugal thrashing' - Udeze

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William Troost-Ekong
Ifeanyi Udeze has blamed Nigeria's 4-0 international friendly defeat against Portugal to lack of understanding between the defenders.
  • Nigeria were trailing 2-0 at half-time
  • The defence looked disjointed at times
  • Nigeria urged to play compactly as a unit

WHAT HAPPENED? The Super Eagles found themselves trailing at Jose Alvalade Stadium with only nine minutes played after Bruno Fernandes put the Selecao ahead and he scored the second for a 2-0 lead at the half-time break.

Goncalo Ramos then added the second before Joao Mario sealed the huge win. Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro started Kevin Akpoguma, William Troost-Ekong, Calvin Bassey and Bright Osayi-Samuel in the defence.

However, according to the 42-year-old Udeze, who participated in the 2002 World Cup, the defenders lacked the understanding which allowed Portugal to dominate the game.

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WHAT HE SAID: “The defence lacked good coordination and when that happens you’re bound to concede goals,” Udeze told Punch.
“There was no understanding between William Troost-Ekong and the player [Kevin Akpoguma], who played alongside him looked confused.

"They need to play compactly as a unit to win games. They didn’t play like they wanted to win the game."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Since taking charge, Peseiro has lost all four friendly matches. His first defeat came in the 2-1 result against Mexico. Nigeria then lost 1-0 against Ecuador, 2-1 against Algeria and now 4-0 against Portugal.

However, he won his first two matches of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. Nigeria, who are in Group A, defeated Sierra Leone 2-1 before thumping Sao Tome and Principe 10-0.

WHAT NEXT FOR NIGERIA? With the Super Eagles not taking part in the 2022 Fifa World Cup which gets underway in Qatar on Sunday, they will take a break until next March for their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches.