Nigeria 3-1 Algeria: Player Ratings

Super Eagles
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Daniel Akpeyi (6.0)

The Super Eagles stand in goalkeeper seemed jittery especially with the way he communicated with his back line. He also lacked composure exchanging passes with his defenders. The Algerians did little to test him in the run of play, failing to make shots on target several times, except for a notable save he made when he parried away a  goal bound free kick. He would need to improve on his positioning next time, should he stand a chance to prevent the kind of goal he conceded.

Leon Balogun (8.0)

Leon gave a good account of himself on his return to the Super Eagles. Despite a few lapses in the central defense, he proved dependable for the most part of the encounter.

Elderson Echiejile (7.0)

Elderson played a good role combining with his teammates forward. But he didn’t stand out defensively. The inability of the Algerians to operate much from his side of the pitch was due mainly to some cover from Victor Moses.

Oghenekaro Etebo 8.5

Etebo was all action, dominating proceedings in the midfield. He was the most versatile player on the pitch. Supporting defensively and also making dangerous runs to connect with the attackers upfront. He forced the Algerians to concede several infringements, and was credited for providing the assist for Mikel to score Nigeria’s second.

Kelechi Iheanacho (7.0)

Kelechi was the most marked man on the pitch. This may have prevented him from having a handful of chances to score. He failed to hit target in dying minutes of the game when the ball fell to his weaker right foot. The Fennecs may have concentrated too much on him failing to realize that the Super Eagles had other deadly options.

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Alex Iwobi (6.5)

Despite showing flashes reminiscent of his uncle, Jay Jay Okocha, Iwobi failed to create any sense of danger at the Algerian rear. He allowed the opponents dispossess him several times in the encounter. Iwobi must play with more aggression in future engagements, as Cameroon presents a greater threat in terms of physical play.

Mikel Obi (8.0)

Mikel reacted quickly with composure, to capitalize on Algeria’s wrongly executed offside trap, to score Nigeria’s second. His high rating is mainly due to this feat. His all round play was slightly above average. He could do more to help Nigeria in future to control the midfield better. With Etebo now in the team, he should do more defensively instead.

Victor Moses (9.0)

Clearly the “man of the match” not only because of his brace, but also for his consistent threatening runs. His first goal was characteristic of Lionel Messi. He raced through the Algerian defense like a breeze, and struck the ball with precision in a timely manner, giving the Algerian goalie no chance. He was a handful for Algeria all game. It seemed he could thrive on a free role, although he mainly operated from the left. Nigeria must learn to utilize him more.

Keneth Omeruo (6.0)

He was given the responsibility of taking throws from the right flank and supporting the attack. He didn’t show much presence defensively. He will need to improve in his new Right Back role, else he would find himself in the bench in future engagements.

Ogenyi Onazi (6.5)

Onazi’s performance was average. He seems just to be making up the numbers in the Eagles midfield. He did not do much to provide cover for the central defense, playing from a defensive midfield position. He will need to improve to justify future invitation.

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Troost-Ekong (7.5)

Ekong was quite dependable and confident in the rear barring some lapses that the opponents failed to punish. We hope to see a stronger partnership with Balogun in future.

Ahmed Musa (7.5)

Musa imposed himself immediately after his introduction, providing a fine assist for Moses to score Nigeria’s third, instead of trying his luck at goal. Based on his good cameo performance he will likely be rewarded with a start in Nigeria’s next game.

Shehu Abdullahi (6.0)

Coincidentally, Nigeria conceded immediately after his introduction. He had enough time to prove that he was a better option compared to Omeruo in Right Back, but he did not make a strong case for himself either.

Wilfred Ndidi (7.0)

Ndidi’s coming in for captain Mikel in the 83rd minute did not create any vacuum, as he settled in well and created some stability in the midfield. He definitely deserves more playing time in future.

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