Player Ratings: Nigeria 4-0 Libya

Published in Awa Football October 13 2018 font size decrease font size increase font size
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The Super Eagles are well and truly up and running, after following up their win in Seychelles in September with victory over Libya at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, to go above the Mediterranean Knights and into second place in Group E of the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifying. An Odion Ighalo treble did the trick as Nigeria considerable light work of the North Africans, a kind of trouncing that might make their former coach accuse us of using metaphysical powers.

So, how did the players fare in the Eagles’ success in Uyo:

Francis Uzoho: The goalkeeper had very little to do on the day, but when required he did his bit with minimum fuss and maximum efficiency. Made a terrific reflex save to deny Libya’s Mohammed Anis Saltou early on. (7)

Shehu Abdullahi: Had a quiet 15 minutes, before going off injured. The Bursaspor right-back will hope to recover before the return leg on Wednesday. (6)

William Troost-Ekong: Did very well to quell the threat of Anis Saltou, particularly when the ball was on the ground, and hardly looked troubled. Unfairly booked late on. (8)

Leon Balogun: Had little trouble to deal with in the game, moping with ease and effectiveness. Made an error midway through the second period, but it amounted to little. (7)

Jamilu Collins: Perhaps a tactical instruction, but didn’t go forward as much as you’d expect a full-back to, spending most of the game tucked in at the defence. The one time he went forward, he struck the crossbar from close range. (6)

Wilfried Ndidi: Came close to scoring in the first half, when his header hit the outside of the post, and had his usual calming display in midfield. Booked for a foul midway through the first half. (7)

Oghenekaro Etebo: Another tireless display in the middle from the Stoke man, although he didn’t get forward as much as he usually does. By his standards, a little quiet day at the office. (6)

Ahmed Musa: Not the best performance from the skipper, who spent the first half tasked with crossing from the right, as opposed to his typical cutting in from the left. His passes were mostly a yard or two off, even his assist for Ighalo’s third goal was grateful to a defensive mishap. (5)

Alex Iwobi: The in-form Arsenal man carried that rich vein of form to the national scene, as he flourished in the No. 10 role. Played a part in the second and third goals, with a couple of well-threaded passes. (9)

Samuel Kalu: Looked lively throughout and did well to track back and provide support to Collins, particularly in the first half, but his decision making was quite lacking, a couple of one-touch-too-many situations as well as some ill-advised shots. Seemed desperate to find the net, but when he did, in stoppage time, it was a brilliant finish. (7)

Odion Ighalo: The striker who’s been subject of some criticism in the national side of late, offered a retort with a top-class performance. Bagged his first hatrick for the Super Eagles, and his work ethic wasn’t lacking, which helped in winning that early penalty. (10)

Substitutes

Ola Aina: Came on early for the injured Abdullahi, and after a rather nervy first half, steadied himself. Like Collins, he didn’t get forward as much, but was tidy in defence, particularly after the break. (6)

Henry Onyekuru: Came on for Musa, and could have scored with his first touch. Did well to set up Kalu for the fourth goal. (6)

Isaac Success: Barely had an impact on the game, particularly because he spent little time on the pitch. Played in Onyekuru with a good pass late on, but had little else to shout about. (5)

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