Nigeria needed a late goal from Arsenal striker Alex Iwobi to earn a 1-0 win over Zambia in their penultimate game of the World Cup qualifiers. But how did the Super Eagles actually rate?
Allnigeriasoccer.comruns the rule over the performance of the Super Eagles on a memorable evening.
Ikechukwu Ezenwa 6/10
The FC Ifeanyi Ubah goalkeeper was largely untested saved for few nervy moments in the first period. Turned Mwepu’s cracker onto the bar.
Elderson Echiejile 5/10
Started sloppily and was caught out of position on the Zambia break. Did a fair share of defending though, but offered synonymously next to nothing going forward.
William Troost-Ekong 6.5/10
The rear-guard left a lot to be desired but he more than made up for his low composure initially with sturdiness in challenges as the game wore on.
Footwork was poor but otherwise, a good defensive outing.
Leon Balogun 6.5/10
He was exploited by the Zambians especially in the first half but grew into the game rapidly afterwards.
Dueled admirably well; aerially and continuously put his body on the line. Made a few uneventful ventures forward.
Shehu Abdullahi 8/10
The Cypriot-based full back particularly struggled with discipline and was somewhat lucky to avoid a red. Passing was straightforward but little else. Set up Iwobi with a delightful cross late on.
Ogenyi Onazi 5/10
Cut it top with a few forays in the early periods and nearly played in Odion Ighalo. Picked up a knock in the first half and came off for Mikel Agu.
Wilfred Ndidi 6.5/10
Did a great job alongside Mikel Obi in battling the witty Zambians in midfield. Kept play going with simple passes and even went close with a point-blank header.
John Obi Mikel 6/10
As usual, his ball retention under pressure was particularly immense and he did a big job trying to link up with his
Caches of brilliance here and there but nothing spectacular. Sent a few wayward efforts wide of the mark.
Moses Simon 6/10
His continuous prying of the Zambian backline kept the opponents on their toes for much of the first half,testing Mweene on two occasions.
Tired surprisingly very early in the second period and was hauled off for Iwobi.
Victor Moses 7/10
Ran the opponents ragged and looked the most likely to break the deadlock for the Super Eagles.
Tracked back to help out defensively but linkups and final efforts were not wholly encouraging but a fine display nonetheless. Missed a late goal.
Odion Ighalo 6/10
Was largely quiet as the Chipolopolo hugely did a great job marking him out of play completely or tracking him down.
A few hold-up plays from the former Watford man.
Mikel Agu 5/10
Came on for Onazi and did a fair share of the midfield battles.Picked up a yellow for a needless elbow challenge.
Alex Iwobi 7/10
His introduction sparked life into the game going forward for the Eagles. Turns of brilliance and darts into the
opposition areas before nudging Nigeria ahead with a beautiful effort.
Ola Aina 5/10
Came on to add fresh legs in defense and almost registered an assist in the closing minutes but Moses missed.