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Finidi George explains tactical shift in Super Eagles’ win over Ghana



By Monsurah Olatunji

In his debut match as interim head coach of the Super Eagles, Finidi George implemented a tactical shift from the previous Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) approach under Jose Peseiro, opting for a 3-5-2 formation instead of the 3-4-2-1 used at the tournament.

The tactical adjustment proved effective as Nigeria secured a 2-1 victory over Ghana in their international friendly at Stade de Marrakech on Friday, marking the team’s first win against their rivals since 2006.

Explaining the change in formation, Finidi George highlighted the need to provide support to lone striker Victor Osimhen, who was often isolated during the AFCON. By deploying a strike pairing in the 3-5-2 setup, the team aimed to enhance their attacking options and create more scoring opportunities.

The adjustment bore fruit as Cyriel Dessers converted a penalty to put Nigeria ahead, followed by an impressive team goal finished off by Ademola Lookman. Despite conceding a late goal from a penalty, the Super Eagles displayed a positive attacking mentality throughout the match.

Finidi emphasized the importance of taking calculated risks to achieve offensive productivity while maintaining defensive solidity. The tactical flexibility showcased by the team under his leadership reflects a promising start to his tenure as head coach.

Overall, Finidi’s tactical adjustments contributed to Nigeria’s victory over Ghana, signaling a positive shift in the team’s approach and setting a promising tone for future matches under his guidance.

“We didn’t keep the same [formation],” explained George in a pitch-side interview with journalists.
“We played with a 3-5-2, but at the AFCON it was only Osimhen, and we felt he was doing so much running alone, so I wanted some other player in a strike pairing.
“We could see once a player gets the ball, there was an opportunity for a pass. We had to take some risks, but we had to get something positive going forward.”

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