The home based Super Eagles put up a four-star performance as they smashed Niger Republic 4-1 in their opening game of the ongoing African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Rwanda. Goals from Osas Okoro, and a hat-trick from second half substitute Chisom Chikatara ensured Nigeria won to top group C.
Here, fcnaija.com rates the Nigerian players and their performances on the day.
Ekene Ezenwa 6/10 – He dealt with the aerial balls quite well and showed enough composure whenever the Nigeriens threatened. He stood no chance with Zakari Adebayor’s goal for Niger. He however needs to improve on his ball distribution.
Etim Matthew 6/10 – Attacked and defended gallantly especially in the first half, and had a couple of excellent crosses into the box that the strikers failed to connect with. He seemed to wear out as the game progressed though.
Stephen Eze 7/10 – As expected, he dealt with every aerial threat that came his way and that shouldn’t be much of a surprise for man who stands at 6 feet 5 inches tall. His positioning and awareness was superb given his lack of pace. He had an all round impressive game.
Jamiu Alimi 3/10 – What a poor evening it was for the highly-rated central defender. He was supposed to complement Eze but had a rather erratic game and was booked early on. He looked destined to be sent off with some mistimed tackles and was hauled off with only 17 minutes played.
Chima Akas 7/10 – He led by example as he defended and attacked in equal measure and had a hand in almost all of the team’s attack. He was assured in possession and he timed his tackles to perfection.
Paul Onobi 5/10 – So much was expected from him after he supposedly put John Mikel Obi on the bench in Nigeria’s last competitive game, but he seemed out of place in the team especially in the first half. He improved in the second half and had better control of the game.
Bartholomew Ibenegbu 6/10 – He had a more effective game than Onobi in the midfield but lost possession a bit too easily, especially in the opening exchanges. He made some good passes but Tunde Adeniji always mistimed his runs.
Ifeanyi Matthew 7/10 – The most impressive of the midfield trio. Controlled the game well and made several key passes as well as key interceptions. He probably would have been Nigeria’s best performer with the exception of Osas Okoro and Chisom Chikatara.
Prince Aggrey 6/10 – He showed a lot of imagination and trickery in the opening exchanges, but lost some steam as the game wore on.
Osas Okoro 8/10 – What a game he had. One goal and three assists! It would have been five assists had Chikatara scored the glaring chances he missed.
Tunde Adeniji 4/10 – If only he had pace and better instincts, he would have had a better rating. Mostly mistimed his runs and fell into the offside trap too many times. Would be a surprise to see him start the next game.
Kalu Orji 6/10 – He replaced Jamiu Alimi and covered well for Eze. He made several interceptions and his distribution was good.
Usman Mohammed 5/10 – Came in to steady the ship and add some verve. His introduction helped the Eagles retain possession more which led to their goals.
Chisom Chikatara 9/10 – He would have a 10/10 rating had he managed to score the gilt-edged chances he missed. That notwithstanding to come off the bench to score a hat-trick is no mean feat and to imagine he could have scored five!