Russia 2018: Super Eagles lose 0-1 to Czech Republic in final warm-up game

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Nigeria’s Super Eagles on Wednesday lost 0-1 to Czech Republic in an international friendly played in Austria and which left behind many questions about the readiness of the team.
The match played at the Rudolf Tonn Stadium, a multi-purpose facility in Rannersdorf, a city in the sub-division of Schwechat outside Vienna, left the Eagles asking themselves more questions.
The game was expected to give coach Gernot Rohr one last chance to iron out any deficiencies before the World Cup begins.
Both teams started the game with attacking intent.
However, it was the Czechs who created all the chances, but were denied by a combination of good defending and poor finishing.
The Czechs pressure eventually paid off as they opened the scoring with 25 minutes played.
A short corner kick was whipped in and a near-post header forced a good save out of Francis Uzoho but the ball fell into the path of Tomas Kalas, who had a simple finish.
Nigeria were thereafter struggling to play with any fluidity and were restricted to chances from set-piece plays for the remainder of the first half.
The Super Eagles, however, started the second half with more intent as they looked to keep the ball and break down a stubborn Czech defence.
The players were then called off the pitch in the 59th minute as the heavens opened, with rain and hail pelting the ground.
The storm soon calmed, and the players were brought back onto the pitch.
Both teams made several substitutions as the coaches looked to give some of their squad players an opportunity.
The changes affected the tempo of the game and in spite of a much better showing in the second half, Nigeria could not find an equaliser.
The Czechs held on for the lone goal victory as Nigeria ended their preparations for the World Cup with another disappointing loss.
But it was a loss which left many wondering whethrer the team was really ready for the competition which gets underway on June 14.
A bigger cloud hangs in the horizon with the fact that Nigeria’s first match is on June 16, against Croatia in Kaliningrad, just about 10 days away.

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