Nigeria lose to Czech Republic, Amuneke warns

Nigeria suffered a second defeat within days and this time it is a 1-0 defeat to the Czech Republic in their final warm-up match before the World Cup in Russia, Extrasportsnigeria.com reports.

Chelsea defender Tomas Kalas scored the only goal of the game in the first half of the game played on Wednesday.

The Super Eagles also lost 2-1 to England at Wembley on Saturday, while the Czechs – who failed to qualify for the World Cup – lost 4-0 to Australia in their previous friendly outing.

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr made two changes to the team that started against England as Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi – who had been out since April with a hamstring injury – started the game. John Ogu who came in a substitute last weekend started against the Czechs.

Nigeria will face Argentina, Croatia and Iceland in Group D in Russia. Their opening game is against Croatia in Kaliningrad on Saturday, 16 June.

Following the match a former Super Eagles winger Emmanuel Amuneke has warned of early crash out in Russia if they do not improve on their performances. He expressed his displeasure on the team’s set-piece defending which has continually cost them goals.

“It was not a good game, we must be honest with ourselves but there’s room for improvement,” the former African Footballer of the Year told CSN.

“The team still needs more intensive sessions before the Croatia game. These games have shown that there are several lapses in the team generally that they must work on before Nigeria’s first game.

“We could still correct them as we have 10 more days to our first game against Croatia.

“They (Eagles) changed formations in the second half which was good, the players are trying to understand the philosophy of the coach but their reaction to the second balls was slow and they were are not quick enough when challenging the Czech players.”

“The defenders didn’t show more awareness and aggression in dealing with set pieces. They must be winning all the second balls.”