Sports

How Nigerian players rated against Poland

 

The Super Eagles on Friday earned a hard fought 1-0 victory over Poland courtesy of a 61st minute penalty from Chelsea wing back, Victor Moses in the first of two international friendly games lined up for the team ahead of 2018 World Cup.
In this report, here is how the players lined up by Gernot Rohr performed at the Municipal stadium in Warclaw.

GK: Francis Uzoho – 6

After what appeared to be a shaky start on his full debut, the goalkeeper made a number of decent saves to keep a clean sheet and ensure Nigeria won. The Deportivo keeper wasn’t well positioned and composed to deal with a Robert Lewandowski strike that hit the woodwork. There was also a free kick from Rafal Kurzawa which nearly caught him out.
Still has a bit of a raw edge, but at 19, he will need more of such matches to improve.

RB: Shehu Abdullahi – 5

Though the team was quite conservative for the larger part of the game, Abdullahi put in a decent shift before being replaced after he got injured. Definitely t not his best game in the Super Eagles colours.

LB: Brian Idowu – 5

The Russian-born full-back who got his first start was very robust in the tackle but offered little going forward and failed to provide adequate support for Alex Iwobi. Only his second game for Nigeria but he remains a better pick than the experienced yet unpopular Elderson Echiejile.

CB: Leon Balogun – 6

Was tidy in possession and stayed tight to Robert Lewandowski when he had to. A decent evening before being replaced in the 74th minute. He was composed and dealt superbly with every Polish threat that came his way.

CB: William Troost- Ekong – 7

In the absence of Mikel Obi, he had the captain’s armband and lived up to that responsibility after a shaky start. He was good in the tackle and helped start attacks with a number of forward passes.

DM: Wilfred Ndidi – 6

He had another decent outing and provided steel and cover for the defence, even though his usage of the ball fell short yet again. The Leicester City man spent the entire 90 minutes carrying out defensive duties but his passing leaves a lot to be desired.

AM: Joel Obi – 6

The Torino man finally got to wear the green jersey for the first time since 2014, and while he was supposed to be the creative force in midfield, he spent a large chunk of the game defending even more than Ndidi. He lasted 65 minutes unscathed and his display will certainly put him in the frame to be in the final squad that goes to Russia.

RW: Alex Iwobi – 5

Often found it difficult to decide on time what to do with the ball. He needs to improve on his decision-making. The defensive nature of the team meant he had very limited opportunities.

LW: Victor Moses – 7

He was the most active player in attack but his set pieces and deliveries didn’t bring any spark. He won a penalty after being tripped in the box by Marcin Kaminski in the 61st minute and he converted coolly. He was fouled for the penalty and took responsibility to score. Not his best game, but not his worst either.

FW: Kelechi Iheanacho – 4

Played just behind the front man but failed to provide the link between those behind him and Odion Ighalo. He was perhaps the most ineffective player on the field. Did not do anything meaningful offensively or defensively.

FW: Odion Ighalo – 6

Appeared isolated at times but looked dangerous whenever he had the ball. The Changchun Yatai striker provided serious physical test for the Polish defenders but couldn’t put any of the few balls that came his way into the back of the net.

SUBSTITUTES

Tryonne Ebuehi -5

He replaced Shehu Abdullahi with 12 minutes left on the clock and made his little contribution in preventing the Poles from getting the equaliser.

Kenneth Omeruo -4

He came on for Leon Balogun but is yet to convince that he has what it takes to make it back into the starting XI and appears primed to head to Russia as a backup.

Ogenyi Onazi -5

He took the place of Joel Obi and played a good ball for Ahmed Musa in the dying minutes of the contest.

John Ogu – 5

The Hapoel Be’er Sheva midfielder came in for Iheanacho tasked with adding more defensive solidity. He performed his duties effectively, although he ought to be concerned by the prominent display of Obi.

Ahmed Musa -5

He replaced Iwobi with half an hour to play, and while he was initially quiet, he grew into the game. He whipped in a cross that didn’t connect with anyone, and failed to latch to a nice Onazi pass for what could have been the second goal for Nigeria.

Moses Simon

Cannot be rated as the Gent winger replaced Ighalo after 89 minutes.

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