January 28, 2023

Why I benched Iheanacho against Ghana —Eguavoen

April 6, 2022
Kelechi Iheanacho

FORMER Super Eagles interim coach, Augustine Eguavoen, has explained why he benched Kelechi Iheanacho from the reverse fixture of the World Cup playoff in Abuja which ended in a 1-1 draw.

He stated that the Leicester City star, Iheanacho, failed in his responsibility to stop Ghana captain, Thomas Partey, from dictat-ing play in the first leg.

Eguavoen said that Iheanacho was given a man-marking role on Partey and was also supposed to play behind the main striker Victor Osimhen.

“Iheanacho you saw him a few days ago his performance against Manchester United, and people were saying Iheanacho stayed too long on that field.

“Iheanacho we gave him a specific role in Kumasi. In as much as he’s going to go up there and support Osimhen, he has a duty
to perform by stopping Thomas Partey.

“He’s playing as a second striker because Partey dictates the game but he was sometimes late in reacting that’s why Partey had those luxuries.

“Since he didn’t do that, I spoke with him I told him he’ll start from the bench and at some point he’ll come in,” Eguavoen said on SuperSport’s Monday Night Football.

ALSO READ: iheanacho-is-purely-a-striker-rodgers/

Recall, the Arsenal star, Partey scored the Black Stars’ crucial goal in the 10th minute of the game, the long-range range shot
squirmed under the body of goalkeeper Francis Uzoho and ended up in the back of the net, a goal which ultimately denied Nigeria Qatar 2022 ticket.

Meanwhile, Eguavoen has acknowledged that his players lacked the character to beat Ghana in Abuja.

“We lacked the character, zeal to beat Ghana when it mattered most.

“The Ghanaians showed they wanted it more than our boys and that was why it ended that way. We didn’t do any of that. We did not fight or push enough for the winner and how do you do that?

“It is with fast-paced football, creating chances but that didn’t happen. In Kumasi, the Ghanaians were better but in Abuja,
the Eagles were the better side but could not win,” the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner said.

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