24 January 2018

Nigeria/Equatorial Guinea: Equatorial Guinea 1-3 Nigeria Ratings | Here's How Eagles Fared

Photo: Premium Times
Anthony Okpotu, after scoring at the ongoing CHAN

On the day presidents of Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria held friendly bilateral talks in Abuja, it was anything but friendly between the national football teams in Agadir, Morocco.

The Eagles battled back from going 1-0 down in the first half to score three goals in the second half to book their spot in the quarterfinals as Group C winners.

Player Rating Narrative

Ikechukwu Ezenwa 6/10 Nothing to do and he cannot be blamed for the goal the Eagles conceded - the first in Morocco.

Osas Okoro 6.5/10 The Rangers man was on the front foot all through the game and gave the sumptuous cross that fetched Nigeria's equaliser.

Orji Okagbue 6/10 He was not too decisive in his positioning and his lack of pace was almost an Achilles heel

Stephen Eze 6.5/10 He made timely interceptions and as his height suggests, he could not be beaten in the air though he made one rash tackle he shouldn't have made.

Daniel James 6/10 Competent in the tackle but his offensive forays have to improve as they lack the final punch. He still delivered his long throw-ins.

Emeka Atuloma 4/10 Atuloma looks poor in retaining and releasing the ball - his passes were either too short or too long. And he slows down the Eagles. Quarterfinal opponents will target this weakness.

Ifeanyi Ifeanyi 5/10 The Akwa United star has failed to impress in Morocco though he was a tenacious tackler.

Dayo Ojo 7.5/10 Replaced Rabiu Ali in the starting XI to bring energy and pace but he added a Golazo to give the Eagles the go-ahead goal. Always tried to get ahead of the attack on the flanks. Justifiably won the Man of the Match award.

Sunday Faleye 5.5/10 Though still 19, Faleye needs to cut out the antics like hitting the turf at first touch and getting into unnecessary duels. His final ball also has to improve. He missed a glaring chance for an equaliser two minutes to the end of the first half that could have been costly.

Emeka Ogbuh 5/10 Ogbuh may not start the quarterfinal as his contributions were below par. A lot more is expected of the Rivers United wide forward but he has been playing within himself.

Tony Okpotu 6/10 Finally got his goal and he was a bit more mobile across the lines. Could have scored an absolute cracker with an overhead kick in the second half but his coach would have been glad he persisted with the Lobi Stars man.

Substitutes

Rabiu Ali 6/10 Came on in the 62nd minute and made a difference. Assisted for the Eagles' second goal and scored the penalty to finally kill off the Nzalang Nacional. The 37-year-old may be better coming off the bench after assessing the opponent.

Mohammed Nur 5/10 Too many flicks took away from a clearly skillful showing.

Gabriel Okechukwu NA Six minutes was all he had.

The Eagles will be hoping they get more protection from the referees for the rest of their tournament as referee Abou Coulibaly from Cote d'Ivoire let so many things pass that the match against Equatorial Guinea almost became a brawl.

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