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Player ratings: Disbelief, shock as Carthage Eagles humble Nigeria’s Super Eagles

Player ratings: Disbelief, shock as Carthage Eagles humble Nigeria’s Super Eagles
January 23
23:40 2022

The Super Eagles of Nigeria suffered a shock 1-0 defeat by COVID-19-stricken Tunisia, exiting the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in the round of 16. In a match that was predicted a walkover by all and sundry, Nigeria failed to advance and TheCable Sports looks at player performances in the shock defeat that has rocked an expectant nation.

Maduka Okoye (2/5): The ‘always neat’ goalkeeper diverted a shot from distance into his net regardless of a slight deflection. Although he saved a more difficult shot, Okoye had already played the most important part of the match — conceding the winning goal.

Ola Aina (3/5): The Torino man was the more adventurous of Nigeria’s fullbacks before and after Alex Iwobi’s dismissal. A shame his mazy runs were not capitalised upon by the forwards.

Zaidu Sanusi (2.5/5): Held back from committing forward but held firm on his defensive duties. He however showed attacking instinct after Nigeria went down to 10 men but without an end product.

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William Troost-Ekong (2.5/5): The captain was strong and resolute but his slight deflection on Msakni’s shot led to the goal. Average display.

Kenneth Omeruo (2.5/5): Had little to do as Nigeria played from the front but could not stop the Tunisians’ tricky movement on the counter.

Wilfred Ndidi (2.5/5): Combative all over the pitch and almost gave Nigeria the lead with a bicycle kick that went just wide. He was however beaten easily for the shot that led to Tunisia’s winner.

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Joe Aribo (2.5/5): Plenty of passing from the midfield but a low-blocking Tunisian side did not allow his penetrating passes to find their target. The game went past him in the second half and was duly subbed off with Nigeria in search of an equaliser.

Kelechi Iheanacho (2.5/5): He was the brightest of the forwards in the first half and looked the likeliest to make something happen but faded off in the second half.

Moses Simon (3/5): Had three players on him anytime the ball got to his feet but continued to try his best. Should have equalised for Nigeria following Iwobi’s dismissal but the goalkeeper saved his shot.

Samuel Chukwueze (1/5): A fancy cross aside, the winger was ineffective in the match. Should have been the first player substituted but he remained on the pitch until 10 minutes after Nigeria bagged a red card.

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Taiwo Awoniyi (2/5): Starved of service, the striker went in various directions in search of the ball but was unproductive. A poor display from the striker.

Substitutes

Alex Iwobi (0/5): Lasted all of seven minutes, his overzealousness meant he got caught in a dangerous play that earned him a straight dismissal.

Peter Olayinka (N/A): Was ineffective in his 30-minute substitute appearance.

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Umar Sadiq (3/5): The most dangerous forward despite playing just 15 minutes. His last-minute shot went agonisingly inches wide of the far post.

Ahmed Musa (N/A): No impact.

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