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INVISIBLE PERFORMANCES ALL ROUND AS FLYING EAGLES SHREDDED BY USA

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

/ by Colin


Valentine Ozornwafor (L) and Maxwell Effiom (R) leave the pitch heads bowed after losing to USA/FIFA

A horrifying first half performance and a criminal brain freeze at the start of the second from the Flying Eagles saw them succumb to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the United States on Monday.

Paul Aigbogun’s side looked shorn of skill or talent as they chased shadows for most of the first period. Running around aimlessly as the US ran jolly rings around them.

Sebastian Soto’s brace was just reward for the American endeavour on a day when the country was celebrating their fallen heroes.

For Nigeria, it was the ratings pits on a day they will need to forget very quickly

OLAWALE OREMADE 5
Beaten with an excellent header for the first goal, and went down too early for the second. Made a great save from Time Weah in the first half

ZULKIFILU RABIU 4
Suffered time and again on isolation plays against Tim Weah. Struggled to keep up with the PSG starlet and shares the blame for the ball-watching that led to the first goal.
Saw one skewed shot saved by the goalkeeper in the first half. Came close to scoring with an overhead kick late on.

IKOUWEM UTIN 3
Hero to zero. Pinned to his half for most of the game by the marauding stretched play of Konrad De la Fuente, and didn’t get upfront for the first half hour. Caught for pace when he did get forward

ALIU SALAWUDEEN 6
Dragged out of position time and again by the passing and movement of the Americans but did come up with a few good blocks, including winning some great defensive headers, including one that almost went in as an own goal. Ranged forward late in the game and almost created an opportunity 

VALENTINE OZORNWAFOR 5
Took a hit early on, but doubtful that was a contributor to the overall bad performance. Cut out a few crosses, but clearances were always hurried

KINGSLEY MICHAEL 5
Looked lost in midfield early on as the USA took complete control, passing the ball around him with ease. Grew into the game late in the half, and rocked the past with a vicious effort late just before half time. Much more of a presence in the second half. Won the penalty kick that was called off for offside 

JAMIL MUHAMMAD 4
One of a number of players involved in failing to mark and leading to that first headed goal. A step behind the US passing, and failed to read the play adequately each time

TOM DELE-BASHIRU 2
An ineffectual performance that saw him hooked early. Created little and lost the ball more times than even he would care to remember. A sign of his torrid day was being taken off after half an hour in what could only be described as a mercy substitution for the Manchester City man.

MAXWELL EFFIOM 6
Put in a good running shift, dropping back to cover for and help Rabiu with the Weah threat. Read the play and made interceptions, but was also guilty of the offence of always trying to do too much.

OKECHUKWU OFFIA 5
Dropped back to help with defending the wide threat, but always guilty of trying to do too much rather than look for the simple outlet ball. Little attacking threat

AKOR ADAMS 4
Started in place of Muhamed Tijani. But his link up play was sadly lacking. Always double-teamed by the US centerbacks and had little support. On the occasions when he had breakaway opportunities, the inability to make a quick pass cost his team valuable threats.

Okechukwu Offia pulled an Invisible Man impression


SUBS
ANIEKEME OKON 6
Almost made an instant impact after coming in for Dele-Bashiru with a ferocious volley that the US goalkeeper beat away. Stablized the midfield and helped the Flying eagles establish a foothold in the game. Tempted to give him a 7. Really tempted, but no. 

MUHAMED TIJANI 4
Slightly better performance than his first game. Held up the play, linked up better and created openings for his runners

SUCCESS MAKANJUOLA 4
Like he did in the first game, came on and immediately got involved. Won a tackle high up and put in a good cross


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