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

 

 

 

 

William Troost-Ekong———-6

Ekong is a regular for his Club Udinese and his Sharpness was evident tonight. He needed to be,as the Burundian Forward line are quick and nimble. He is outstanding as always in the air and difficult to dribble but his concentration levels and timing is suspect. His Pairing with the quicker Omeruo is probably best for Nigeria as the Latter can help cover up Ground when Troost is beaten for pace or temporarily goes to sleep. But overall he was solid

 

 

Kenneth Omeruo—————–6.5

Kenneth is now a full grown defender who is set in his ways and has bags of experience to call upon. I just love his great ability to read the game and smell Danger. His pace is good and has improved his aerial ability. He kept Amissi quiet after the Burundian forward identified himself as a danger man and Omeruo should have capped his great performance with a goal, heading narrowly over the Bar from Etebo’s freekick. Looks like the “Oyinbo wall” will have to be suspended for the time being.

 

 

Ola Aina———————————7.5

Ola Aina has Taken his great form last season into this competition and his confidence is eveident. The Torino Man made his Wing a “no go Area” and then provided the all important piece of genius that eventually unlocked the stubborn Burundian Defence. No one saw that clever Back pass coming and its excution was inch perfect for Ighalo to score and seal the win. We will be looking for more from him.

 

 

Oghenekaro Etebo——————–6

Etebo is not a deep lying Midfeilder, but Gernot Rohr persists in playing him there. His game doesn’t suit this position but he still tries to chase down opponents his passing is still off mostly but he is at hos best running at the opposition with the ball at his feet. He cannot do much of this as that will leave the backline unprotected. He still showed amazing mobility and desire to fight for the cause..But i cant help feel this Midfield needs to be tweaked up.

 

 

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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

Mikel looked very much the veteran he is in now. Slow, Un-inventive, and ineffective.  The team looked much better after his exit in the 2nd half, this goes to show just how poor he was. Gernot Rohr has to see this ageing star doesn’t probably have the Legs anymore to run plays like 10 years ago and now has to be saddled with a deep lying role whilst pushing the Younger Etebo up.

 

 

Alex Iwobi————————————– 6

Was lively and up for it all game, tried to provide the spark upfront but was not helped by some static forward play by Onuachu. Had a glorious moment in the 1st half when a brilliant piece of skill and pass was not matched by his teammate Chukwueze’s finish.

 

 

Samuel Chukwueze—————————7

Rave of the Moment Chukwueze is a delight to watch. He seems like the ball is tied to his feet as his close control is out of this world. A consummate and confident dribbler of the ball, the young man gave the Burundis a nightmare with his pace and trickery. Should have done better with Iwobi’s pass but blazed over. His passing also needs work as the Modern day game will see him get shut out by much better teams easily in the later rounds if he cannot learn to find his team mates accurately. If he can add end product to his game, then we will have a real weapon on our hands.

 

 

Paul Onuachu————————–4

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.

 

Ahmed Musa—————————6.5

Musa was brought in as an Impact sub and that was what he brought. Was operating from the Left and using his pace to get in Behind the Burundian defence. Though his Crosses could have been better his presence on the field was scaring the defenders and forcing them to continue to play deep in their Box and was just suitable for the Eagles to keep the pressure on

 

Chidozie Awaziem—————-5

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.

 

 

Odion Ighalo———————7.5

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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