South Africa 1-1 Nigeria: Player Ratings

Published in Awa Football November 17 2018 font size decrease font size increase font size
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It wasn’t the most exciting game, or the most uplifting of performances, but it did trick. Having taken the lead through an own goal, Nigeria were pegged back as they shared the spoils with South Africa in Johannesburg, a result that guarantees the Super Eagles’ presence in the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon in next year, a first appearance in the continental competition since winning it in 2013.

So, how did the players fare:

Ikechukwu Ezenwa: The goalkeeper had a rather quiet game between the sticks, not having much to do, and barely having to make a save. He could do nothing when left exposed for the South African goal. 6

Leon Balogun: Another sturdy showing in defence for the Brighton man, who was comfortable with most threats before him, but, like the rest of the defence, probably should have done better before Bafana’s equaliser. 6

William Troost-Ekong: Hardly put a foot wrong defensive-wise, although he was found wanting for the goal. His passing game could also have been much better. 5

Kenneth Omeruo: Looked comfortable enough with threats in front of him, but the fact that South Africans managed to get in behind him with some regularity, particularly in the first half, will be worrying. Probably should have done better with South Africa’s equalising goal. 6

Samuel Kalu: Looked quite at home in what was meant to be an unfamiliar position at wing-back, particularly in the first half. Made Nigeria’s goal with a darting run on the flanks, and prevented one at the other end almost immediately with a brilliant tackle. His set-piece deliveries let him down, though. 7

Jamilu Collins: A wing-back role meant he got forward much more than he did in previous games, but was nowhere to be seen when the Eagles conceded. That may have been a warning shot to him, as his attacking forays reduced after the break. 6

John Ogu: A calm influence in midfield, and provided security, as well as room for his midfield partner to move forward. Had an archetypal game of going by unnoticed. 7

Oghenekaro Etebo: For the first time in a while, showed semblances of his usual self in a Super Eagles game, moving from one of the end of the pitch to the other, although he had little joy in the final third. 6

Alex Iwobi: An underwhelming outing by his current high standards; a tidy affair in the middle, but didn’t quite contribute as much as he would liked up front. Subbed off late on. 6

Ahmed Musa: A decent showing from the skipper, who did his best to make the South African defence uncomfortable, but suffered from a dry supply line behind him. Unlucky to have a goal wrongly ruled out for offside in the second period.

Kelechi Iheanacho: A disappointing day for the forward, who failed to impress in the absence of Odion Ighalo. Fluffed a big chance late in the first half, due to a poor touch, and his substitution was overdue. 5

Substitutes

Isaac Success: Came on for Iheanacho in the final 20 minutes, but did little of note. Will probably feel Musa should have left a goal-scoring chance for him.

Henry Onyekuru: A late substitute for Musa, with little time to do anything noteworthy.

Semilore Ajayi: Little more than a time-eating change for Iwobi in stoppage time.

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