Nigeria maintained their record of never losing nor conceding a goal against South Africa in a competitive match by forcing a 0-0 Cape Town stalemate.
Mr Obanya noted that “no matter how good South Africa’s form has been, they always find it difficult when they have to face Nigeria in a competitive game. But the truth is that this issue wont last forever”, adding that “we have managed to somehow keep escaping it”.
He however argued that Nigeria’s goalless draw with the South Africans in the 2015 African Cup of Nations Qualifier is a testament that those days may be coming to an end.
He said “last night was one of those days and I think in all honesty South Africa were just not as better as they thought they were” warning that “if they were any better they would have picked something off Nigeria”.
He noted that the Nigerian players were not cohesive during the match but agreed that “Igiebor started brightly in the middle and it allowed Onazi and Mikel to sit deep” but their South African counterparts were blocking most of their efforts.
“But because Mikel was sitting behind Onazi, he was able to receive deep balls and pick out passes”, he said.
He also praised the efforts of Ahmed Musa, Sone Aluko and Gbolahan Salami, who showed glimpses of what they do for their clubs on a weekly basis “into different channels whether very wide or narrow”.
He however noted that the South Africans later got a way around Mikel and closed in on him aggressively.
He clamoured for a change of combination by the national team handlers because we have seen changes win the Nations Cup before.
“I think we should start thinking of other combinations. We have other midfielders, whether we want to play a 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1. We really have to change it”, he insisted.
He added that “if we want to play a 4-2-3-1, we can bring in more attacking options then we can say we want just an Onazi and an Igiebor to sit; and Ogwu, he is tall, big and can sit deep without going anywhere.
“You have three players behind the lone striker, then you ca drop a Brown Ideye or an Emenike in a hole behind Salami” or vice versa, adding that “we have seen it work for us before; we won the Nations Cup with that format”, he maintained.