PLAYER RATINGS: NIGERIA VS BURUNDI EGYPT 2019 NATIONS CUP MATCH DAY 1 GROUP B
The super eagles began their Egypt 2019 Nations cup quest on a winning note, Beating debutants the swallows of Burundi 1-0 in Alexandria. The 3 points were very welcome but the Super eagles had to work hard to get that Win. The Burundians were in no mood to give the Super eagles any undue respect and took the game to them. Credit to the boys they were ready and in the end the superior Quality of the eagles proved decisive.
But now is the time to X-ray the individual performances of the Super Eagles in that opening game and find out who was good and who wasn’t.
Daniel Akpeyi-—————- 5
Daniel is highly rated in the south African League. So much so that he has just secured a move to arguably one of the biggest Clubs in that country Kaiser chiefs of Johannesburg from his former club Chippa United. He must be doing something right there but the moment he dornes the Super Eagles Jersey something just goes wrong with this Guy. He just turns to a bag of Nerves. He had a good start to the game making a very good stop from a powerful point blank shot from Cedric Amissi. But after that commendable save..He was involved in a comical moments, one of which was messing up a back pass from Omeruo and allowing it slip between his legs into touch for a corner. Crazy stuff. Also in the 2nd half he parried a Shot that was already going wide for a silly and needless Corner..The kind that if you concede from ,as a coach, you would be right to be Fully mad at him..His Confidence, ball handling, was totally off dropping the ball needlessly from crosses and causing danger for his team. We will give him the benefit of the doubt and say it was opening game Nerves but we will not be so charitable come match day 2.
Abdullahi Shehu————— 4.5
Shehu is usually Solid and full of action but not yesterday, He was seriously struggling and it perhaps was no surprise that around the 30th min he kicked the ball into touch and sat on the pitch injured prompting his replacement with Awaziem. Shehu probably was nursing that Injury before the Tournament and aggravated it. He Didn’t have much time to be fully assessed but the few mins he was on he was average
Wilfred Ndidi: —————————-6.5
Ndidi was his Usual workaholic self..Made little or no mistakes and was probably the best of a sometimes dysfunctional looking Midfeld. With Mikel playing as a creative Hub upfront Ndidi and Etebo did their Best to clean up after him but Ndidi was the more assured Tackler with 6 successful Tackles and 4 Interceptions.
John Obi Mikel————————-4
Alex Iwobi————————————– 6
Not Much to write about the Big man’s performance in this Game. He looked Lost and uninspiring all through. Wasn’t opening up to get the pass and the few times he did he did nothing with it. His Height can still be a good advantage for crosses, He needs to adapt more to the team rather than the team adapting to him. Ighalo came in and got himself into the kind of position we were all expecting Onuachu to take all game long before he left the pitch in the 72nd min. Another player who needs a big performance vs Guinea on Wednesday.
Came in for the Injured Shehu and was giving away fouls at will as he is originally a Centreback not a Fullback. He later Managed to settle down after a few minutes.
Ighalo was the Match winner on the night and showed his immense Experience to hold his run and stay onside before scoring from Ola Aina’s exquisite Backheel. Many have questioned the rationale of not starting him from the beginning of the match but i can understand that its good to have a Striker we can rely on Come in and do a job when we need him. Villified after the World cup but he has responded like a pure professional by letting his boots do the talking.