The Dream Team VI crushed Japan 5-4 in their opening Group B match of the ongoing Rio Olympics thanks to the brilliant Oghenekaro Etebo.
The Nigerian team got to Brazil just in time for the kick-off of the match and were already at a disadvantage due to fears over fatigue from jet-lag but the boys showed great tenacity and hunger to come out victorious.
Emmanuel DANIEL (GK)
He showed off some great skills to beat a Japanese forward when the team had the lead but that was about the best he offered in the game as he shipped in four goals without making any notable save throughout the encounter. Daniel AKPEY may be called upon in the next game. 3/10.
He was overwhelmed by the occasion and positioning was poor. Seth had no answer for the opposition attack as the defence conceded four goals. 3/10.
He is growing in confidence for the national team and provided a sweet cross for Etebo’s first goal but was suspect in defence. 5/10.
He was given the mantle as defence leader by the Coach Samson Siasia but he failed to live up to that billing and never took charge of the area which allowed the probing Japanese attack free in roads. 4/10.
Just a quick reminder – Etebo was voted CAF most promising talent in 2015 and emerged topscorer at the 2015 CAF Under-23 Nations Cup. He made an early claim for the best player in Rio 2016 with four fantastic goals in the first game of a major tournamnet. 10/10.
He was a torn in the flesh of Japan defenders in the first half-time and it was his shot that created rebound which Umar scored from but he tired out in the second half as expected because of jet-lag. 7/10.
10 John Obi MIKEL (C)
Captain Mikel Obi had a decent game but enjoyed a better second half before he was substituted. Had a shot go just wide after a beautiful one-two with Umar but did not command the middle as expected. 6/10.
13 Sadiq UMAR
He scored the Dream Team VI first goal in the tournament which helped their confidence. His all round play will mean Junior Ajayi will sit out more games – he won the penalty Etebo scored from and could’ve easily been voted man-of-the-match. 9/10.
14 Azubuike OKECHUKWU
He was quite throughout the encounter and the few times he delivered setpieces were poor. 5/10.
16 Stanley AMUZIE
He conceded a cheap penalty and picked up a yellow card for his troubles. Stanley tried to make amends with a powerful shot that was punched away by the Japan goalkeeper. He had a good game in the end. 6/10.
He was full of energy but fizzled out in the second half. The good thing is that he avoided mistakes even in times when he was put under pressure. 5/10.
He came on as a substitute and did not have touch many touches of the ball as Japan were swamping forward for the equalizer. N/R
He came on for Mikel Obi with just three minutes to the end of the game and showed some neat touches but did not play long enough to be rated. N/R
He played as a substitute. N/R
Daniel AKPEY – Not used
Saturday ERIMUYA – Not used
Aminu UMAR – Not used
Oluwafemi AJAYI – Not used