Nigeria defeat Ghana: Should Finidi George’s debut leave a lasting impression?

Former Ajax midfielder Finidi George led the Super Eagles of Nigeria to a resounding victory against the Black Stars of Ghana at the Stade Marrakech Stadium, Soccernet.ng reports. 

With two goals from Cyriel Dessers and Ademola Lookman, the Super Eagles legend secured his maiden win as interim head coach of the national team.

In a long-standing rivalry with Ghana, Finidi’s successful debut showcased his tactical prowess, even in the absence of key players like Victor Osimhen and Taiwo Awoniyi.

However, this victory points up Finidi’s potential to make an impact as the head coach of the Nigerian national team.

Finidi’s Lineup Against Ghana
Significant changes were made to the Super Eagles lineup since their loss in the AFCON final last month.

Only four starters from that match retained their spots: goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali, defender Semi Ajayi from West Brom, midfielder Frank Onyeka from Brentford, and Fulham’s Alex Iwobi.

The absence of key players like Osimhen, William Troost-Ekong, Samuel Chukwueze, and Ola Aina forced Coach Finidi to shuffle the squad.

Notably, Wilfred Ndidi returned from injury to lead the midfield, while Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Rangers’ Cyriel Dessers were chosen to spearhead the attack.

A standout inclusion was Benjamin Tanimu, a 21-year-old center-back from Tanzania’s Ihefu Sports Club, who replaced Fulham’s Calvin Bassey in defense.

Finidi’s Audition
With Jose Peseiro’s departure, the position of head coach of the Super Eagles remains vacant, offering Finidi an opportunity to showcase his capabilities.

Having served under Peseiro for 22 months, Finidi’s experience and insights were evident in his strategic decisions against Ghana.

Reports suggest that Finidi is among the candidates shortlisted for the permanent head coach role.

The clash with Ghana and Mali serves as an audition for him to prove his candidacy. His utilization of players like Awaziem and the allocation of more minutes to Iheanacho highlight his potential impact on the team’s formation and performance.

With Nigeria set to face Mali in their next match, Finidi’s impressive debut suggests that his first impression should indeed leave a lasting mark in the selection of a new coach for the Super Eagles.

N:B With this performance against Ghana, do you think Finidi George should continue as the head coach of the Super Eagles? Leave your comments below.

Ayomide Oguntimehin

Ayomide Oguntimehin is a CAF-accredited sports journalist and an Editor at Soccernet.ng, with a proven track record in conducting interviews with Super Eagles stars such as William Troost-Ekong, Taiwo Awoniyi, Bright Osayi-Samuel, Ademola Lookman, and many others. He has also made a significant impact in breaking transfer news stories.

Grounded in video editing, video journalism, social media management, and content strategy, Ayomide brings a wealth of expertise to his work.

With a Bachelor’s degree in English Language from Adeyemi College of Education and a Master’s Degree in School Library and Media Technology from the University of Ibadan, Ayomide is well-prepared to excel in the field.

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