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Nigeria thump Togo: Cote d’Ivoire, Golden Eaglets’ next challenge and five key takeaways

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Togo were no match for the superior firepower of Nigeria in Ghana on Thursday as Manu Garba boys carved out a well-deserved 3-0 victory.

The Golden Eaglets showed more composure in attack than in their previous games and remained solid in defence to send the young Togolese lads back to Lome with an empty purse.

Here are the five takeaways from the encounter as compiled by Soccernet.ng‘s Imhons Erons.

1. Clinical finishing and offensive cohesion

Nigeria’s 3-0 victory over Togo showcased the team’s increasing attacking coordination, with Abdulmuiz Adeleke, Rapha Adams, and Abdulmuiz Oladimeji forming a potent partnership.

Adeleke’s early goal, coupled with Rapha Adams’ header from captain Simom Cletus’ cross, illustrated the team’s ability to create and capitalize on scoring opportunities.

This offensive cohesion will be crucial as they prepare to face Cote d’Ivoire in the semifinals.

2. Midfield mastery

Simon Cletus was once again a pivotal figure in midfield for Nigeria, providing assists for both the second and third goals.

While he was not named the man-of-the-match as he did against Niger and Burkina Faso, Cletus’ vision and playmaking skills helped unlock Togo’s defense.

The youngster’s role as the creative engine of the team is becoming more pronounced.

Cletus’ performance underscores the importance of a dynamic midfield in dictating the tempo and controlling the game.

3. Defensive solidity

The Golden Eaglets’ defence has been impenetrable throughout the tournament, maintaining clean sheets in all three group matches.

Their disciplined backline effectively neutralized Togo’s attacking threats. Kudos to coach Garba for the team’s organization and defensive strategy.

This defensive resilience will be vital in the semifinals, where one mistake could be costly.

4. Depth and versatility

Manu Garba’s side displayed impressive depth and versatility, with different players stepping up at crucial moments.

The coach gave opportunities to other players who did not feature in the other two games, without affecting team dynamics and cohesion.

While Adeleke missed a penalty that could have secured his hat-trick, the team’s overall performance did not waver.

This depth ensures that Nigeria can adapt to various match situations and opponent strategies, a valuable asset as they advance in the competition.

5. Semifinal date against Cote d’Ivoire

Topping Group B with an undefeated record boosts Nigeria’s confidence heading into the semifinals.

The Golden Eaglets will avoid hosts Ghana and will only face Group A runners-up Cote d’Ivoire.

While the Ivorians will provide no less a stiff challenge, Nigeria will fancy their chances against the Baby Elephants.

Only the finalists will qualify for the Africa U17 Cup of Nations and the Golden Eaglets are now only one win away from making that important steps for the country and their careers.

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