Thursday, August 1, 2019

Player ratings: Beside Onuachu, who else wowed Nigerians in Delta?

Player ratings: Beside Onuachu, who else wowed Nigerians in Delta?
March 26
23:56 2019

The Super Eagles of Nigeria defeated the Pharaohs of Egypt 1-0 at the Stephen Keshi stadium in Asaba, Delta State. After 90 minutes of an improved display in the friendly encounter courtesy of a first minute strike, the fastest in Nigeria’s history (8 seconds), we take a look at who impressed Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa and the filled stadium.

Daniel Akpeyi (G)
The South Africa based keeper got 45 minutes of action but was not tested by the Egyptians. He, however, showed the willingness to join play, communicate with the backline and came off his line when necessary. He needs more game time to show more of himself and keep Uzoho on his toes.

Jamilu Collins (D)
Quiet evening from the full back who was excellent last weekend. He was astute in his defensive duties but could not influence the game going forward as Moses Simon’s lack of movement infield did not create the space for him to exploit.

Leon Balogun (D)
Epitome of professionalism from the Brighton defender who recently returned from injury. Always plays his heart out for the National team and this game was no different, with two moments of note. As the last man, he recovered to put Egyptian striker off balance and force him to shot high and wide, while he also made a last-ditch clearance to deny Egypt another opening late in the game. Got a booking in the first half for a complaint too many.

William Troost-Ekong (D)
Captain of the day, Ekong forcefully exerted his influence in defence at every opportunity, giving the Egyptians nothing to latch onto in attack.

Shehu Abdullahi (D)
Another full back who did not offer much in attack, with defensive capabilities of more importance to the technical crew. He did not disappoint and is gradually making the right back position his own.

Wilfred Ndidi (DM)
A quiet evening for the Leicester City enforcer as Nigeria controlled most of the game, thanks to his partner at the base of midfield, Ogu. Took over the mantle when Ogu went off injured and ensured that Egypt had no joy through the middle.

John Ogu (DM)
Epitome of calmness in midfield only seen in on-exile captain, John Obi Mikel. The Israeli-based midfielder constantly sprayed passes like a sprinkler and his cross-field pass of an assist for the first-minute goal was reminiscent of, you got it, Mikel. Went off injured to put an end to his impressive performance.

Alex Iwobi (AM)
A better show from the Arsenal attacker after his near-horror show against Seychelles. He should, however, have done better when he got the luck of the bounce in the box but his shot was tame and straight at the goalkeeper, while he also wasted another good opening in the second half. Was substituted afterwards.

Moses Simon (AM)
Pace, power, control, stamina, dribbles, do we have the new Daniel Amokachi? He had a good first half but faded in the second. Always available to help Collins out in defence but did not provide the much needed width down his flank.

Paul Onuachu (F)
A new target man to complement Ighalo is around, and he IS good too. The steal with those Agali-like long legs was superb, and the shot itself showed a fearless, determined striker who knows his angles around the box for his first goal on his full debut. Substituted to a loud ovation from the crowd. You’re welcome.

Henry Onyekuru (F)
Quiet first half but burst into life into the second period. Successfully took on defenders with his pace and created a chance which Iwobi could not capitalize upon. Good outing.

Okechukwu Ezenwa (G)
Given the second half to display his credentials and his double world class saves showed why he was one the first choice before the arrival of Uzoho. Tipped away the long range strike and smothered the rebound to much applause from spectators.

Semi Ajayi (M)
A quiet cameo for the utility player. No contribution of note for the Rotherham United man.

Oghenekaro Etebo (M)
Another substitute who was his usual busy self in midfield, mopping up loose balls and supporting Ndidi to good effect as the Eagles saw out the game.

Odion Ighalo (F)
Entered in the final minutes for Onuachu and made his presence felt with his physicality.

Ndifreke Udo (F)
No time for the 20-year-old attacker to make any notable contribution.

Ikuowem Udoh (D)
The Enyimba left back was another late substitute who had no time to contribute.


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