Football

Aribo on target again, as Nigeria fans tip him for Glasgow Rangers’ exit

Joe Aribo hauled all the positive headlines after scoring on his second appearance for Nigeria with Brazil coming from behind to hold the  Super Eagles to a 1-1 draw on  Sunday night at the  Singapore National Stadium, completesports.com reports.

It proved a fitting result for the battling Rohr’s men who have now heaped more pressure on the Selecao who have now gone four games without a win since winning the 2019 COPA America on home soil last July.

Aribo received well Moses Simon’s teasing pass inside the Brazilian box, shoved off his markers before finding the back of the net. That was exactly on 35th minute of the first half which the Nigerians stoutly held onto until half time.

Super Eagles were bold, bright, and daring in the opening stages. Brazil goalkeeper, Ederson was called up to show his stuff early on but the Selecao gradually came back into full dominion.

The five time World Champions bossed their young Africans with crisp, slow-paced game.

Francis Uzoho enjoyed tremendous cover from stand-in captain, William Troost Ekong, who time and again, blocked and stopped the daring South Americans, especially Firmino, Neymar and Arthur.

The Nigerians, for once, showed patience, organisation, shape and confidence in absorbing, soaking all the Brazilians threw at them.

But all that changed in the 35th minute. Iwobi connected a long ball from the right, shoved aside his markers before setting up debutant, Aribo, who zig-zagged his way into the box before releasing a righted effort into the bottom corner.

Incredible! Nigeria 1-0 up against the World football superpowers. And despite the shock lead, the Super Eagles refused to lose their shape, organisation and convenient ration.

Tite’s men, now clearly under immense pressure, refused to pull off the throttle even as the half time whistle came with Nigeria in the driving seat.

Tite altered his attacking strategy soon before the second period got underway. And expectedly, Brazil continued from where they left off in the previous period and clearly got the breakthrough just three minutes after the restart.

And it has to be Real Madrid strongman, Casemiro who hauled Brazil back into the game with a cool finish after the Nigerian defenders were found lost in their own box when the ball crashed against the crossbar.

Brazil came close to taking the lead for the first time in the game on 56th minute but Uzoho made a save of extraordinary quality, going down low and early enough to deny Coutinho.

Three minutes on, Casemiro headed against the crossbar from a Neymar lovely delivered corner kick with Uzoho landing wrongly to pick an injury.

He was consequently replaced by Maduka Okoye, making his debut for Nigeria.

Just after the ‘water break’, Brazil came close to taking the lead when they burst from the right flank but a split second touch on the ball by Awaziem saw the Brazilians earn their 7th corner kick on the night.

The Samba Boys were amazingly wasteful this half and that should be a worry for Tite.

As the stalemate continued and Brazil showing more urgency and drive for goal, Rohr withdrew Alex Iwobi for Ramon Azeez with just seven minutes remaining.

Chukwueze came close to restoring Nigeria’s lead on 86th minute with a rising strike from the near post but Brazil keeper, Ederon gathered on the second attempt.

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Rangers may struggle to keep hold of Joe Aribo if he continues to put in performances like he did for Nigeria against Brazil.

The Super Eagles held the five-time world champions to a 1-1 draw in a friendly on Sunday with Aribo grabbing their goal.

The 23-year-old swapped Charlton for Rangers in the summer and has made himself a regular under Steven Gerrard at Ibrox.

His promising early season form has continued on international duty, and fans now reckon his days in Glasgow must be numbered.

“Joe Aribo should be playing for a top premier league team. Powerful and skillful lad,” said one.

While another added: “This Joe Aribo I saw today, it shall not be long. His work rate, his ability to track back and cover space and still be within the precincts of 18 yard box when needed means that soon, very soon, Rangers will see his back.”

“Joe Aribo won’t be at Rangers long. Scottish football is useless,” claimed a third.

“I see a star in Joe Aribo, What a lovely footballer,” cooly said a fourth.

Rangers sealed Aribo’s signature for nothing after he turned down the offer of a new deal at the Valley.

His step up to Scotland’s top flight has been seamless and plenty reckon, after his showing against the Brazilians, he could go on to bigger and better things.

Rangers financial constraints mean they would struggle to retain their midfield star were a Premier League outfit to come knocking.

Before that though the Nigerian could yet play a vital role in the Scottish title race as Rangers look to end Celtic’s monopoly north of the border.

They are yet to win a league title following their demotion to the fourth tier, but have fought their way back and look poised to run the Bhoys close.

 

 

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