Paul Onuachu made his senior team debut for Nigeria, playing 25 minutes in the 3-1 win over Seychelles on Friday, but how did the FC Midtjylland marksman fare?
It’s fair to say there was some excitement about the invitation of Onuachu following the towering forward’s consistency at club level.
He has already scored 52 goals across all competitions in three seasons – 42 of those coming in the league [including the ongoing season].
Rather than as understudy to first choice forward, Odion Ighalo, the 24-year-old is expected to be an alternative to Gernot Rohr’s typical 4-3-3 approach in a 4-3-2-1 formation as spearhead.
However, on Friday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, he came on as a 65th minute substitute for midfielder, Oghenekaro Etebo.
That tactical decision didn’t alter the shape of the team as Onuachu shared the pitch with Ighalo for 22 minutes; playing in a deeper role in-field, he was limited.
Here’s a player who thrives as a point man, his goal contributions this season for Midtjylland – 14 – have come mostly from inside the box.
If Rohr expected the forward to start firing right off the block, he didn’t, and the Coach can’t be entirely disappointed.
The German had a game plan and it was well executed before his first substitution – Onuachu – was made.
On Tuesday, against the Pharaohs of Egypt, both Coach and player will be presented another opportunity, but more importantly for the player to impress and perhaps keep the Coaches away from perusing the waiting list of strikers.