Nigeria 0-2 South Africa : Eagles Didn’t Miss Mikel, They Missed Balogun – Taribo


Former Super Eagles defender and legend Taribo West has given his reaction to the defeat suffered by Nigeria in the hands of South Africa in the race to be at the 2019 AFCON.


Bafana Bafana picked up their first ever win over Nigeria beating the Super Eagles 2-0 in Uyo, and in the process ended the unbeaten run of coach Gernot Rohr since he took over as coach of the team.

While most Nigerians have linked the shock loss to the absence of influential captain John Obi Mikel, Taribo believes the absence of defender Leon Balogun cost the team and not Mikel.

” The midfield was porous no doubt, and maybe Mikel would have made them to be compact and more disciplined. However the defence is one area where we showed immaturity not expected at this level”, Taribo told

” Leon Balogun absence was badly felt by the team, even in midfield. His ball from the back usually sets the tone for Nigeria to attack yesterday the young boy (Awaziem) tried doing it but not quite as good as Leon.

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” I once said Leon brings out the best in William Troost-Ekong, some thought it isn’t so, but after yesterday we all can now testify to how pivotal Leon is to Troost-Ekong in the heart of the Eagles defence”.

Osas Mahawi