Super Eagles showed their good and bad sides in the 2-1 defeat against England at Wembley stadium. Gernot Rohr’s boys went through a shambolic first half but redeemed themselves in the second to half the deficit. World Cup qualifiers hero, Alex Iwobi, was again, particularly impressive despite the defeat.
Francis Uzoho: The Deportivo La Coruna reserve keeper looks like the chosen one but will have to do more to take the Number One jersey. Made a good save from Trippier’s early free kick but did not go down quick enough, nor did he open his body well enough for Harry Kane’s goal. Showed good command of his area.
Brian Idowu: Dealt better with the threat of Trippier on his wing. Did well to track back and deliver a last-gasp block on Ashley Young’s shot from few yards when both centre backs were taken out on the counter. Looks the player to dislodge Echiejile, but how soon?
William Troost-Ekong: Was uncharacteristically poor all night. The pace of England’s forwards exposed him, while Harry Kane was always a step ahead of him. Lost Cahill for the opener but improved in the second half.
Leon Balogun: Worked hard in his 45 minutes on the pitch. An early clash of heads left him dazed and had to substituted at half time. Overall, he put in a good shift.
Odion Ighalo: Mostly isolated upfront and struggled to stay onside. However, he showed his worth with excellent hold-up play and shooting accuracy in the build up to Nigeria’s goal.
John Obi Mikel: Struggled to stamp his authority in midfield but still show neat touches when he did get the ball.
Victor Moses: played further forward than he does with Chelsea. Poor display and was only visible in the last minute of first half when he had a shot on target. More involved in the second half.
Abdullahi Shehu: Poor. His wing was targeted all game and he was mostly isolated against pacey England wingers. His overcooked pass into midfield led to the second goal.
Joel Obi: Did not connect well in the midfield triumvate of Mikel and Onazi in the first half. Improved with Ogu’s introduction in the second half.
Ogenyi Onazi: His height betrayed him for England’s opener and tried several wild passes in the game. Lost the midfield battle in the build-up to England’s second goal. Otherwise, he put in his usual energetic shift in the middle of the pack.
Alex Iwobi: Always came deeper to connect midfield with attack. Showed concentration to finish clinically on the rebound an attack he started with a clipped through ball for Ighalo. Attempted the most dribbles among Nigerian players on the day. Best Nigerian player of the game.
John Ogu: Replaced Onazi at half time and the midfield regained it’s shape. His presence at the base of midfield also gave the defence better protection.
Kenneth Omeruo: No-nonsense approach at the back. A solid 45 minutes to reinvigorate his Super Eagles career.
Tyronne Ebuehi: Looked more assured than Shehu and got to the other end of the field to worry England defensively.
Oghenekaro Etebo: Came on at half time and quietly contributed to a solid Super Eagles midfield in the second half.
Ahmed Musa: Full of energy, always ready for the ball but lacked service. Got a yellow card for his troubles on a late tackle.
Kelechi Iheanacho: Late substitute but no service to impact proceedings.