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WHO WAS THE STAR AS SUPER EAGLES HIT R16?

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

/ by Colin
Kenneth Omeruo (C) got his first international goal and won Man of the Match




Kenneth Omeruo headed just over against Burundi in Nigeria’s opening game, but had much better luck on Wednesday as his glancing header secured all three points for Nigeria in addition to a place in the Africa Nations Cup round of 16.

The Leganes defender stole inside the near post to guide Moses Simon’s corner kick home and hand Nigeria all three points. But to be fair the Super Eagles should have been out of sight bythen. Alex Iwobi dallied on the ball and saw his pocket picked. Odion Ighalo had a chance to play in Ahmed Musa, but went for glory and Musa’s service to Ighalo was twice cut out by a solid Guinea defence. It was just the wrong side of being a rout as Super Eagles players posted big big performances.

So how did they fare?

AKPEYI 5
Barely tested, but looked nervy when he spilled a long range shot in the opening minutes. Then made a goalkick straight to the opposition. The Kaizer Chiefs goalie needs to talk himself out of this artificial funk.

AWAZIEM 7
Gave Francois Kamano very little space to breath, let alone operate. Cost him from an attacking sense, but he did shut down the Guinean

AINA 7 
Not the same man of the match performance he turned in on opening days, but Aina performance is exactly what the doctor ordered. Defensive,y strong, read the play, stepped up to make interceptions and still found an occasion or two to bound forward

BALOGUN 8
In for the rested William Troost-Ekong, Balogun was always one step ahead of Sory Kaba. When Iwobi gave away possession with only 12 minutes gone, it was Balogun who raced back with Kaba to make a timely clearance 

OMERUO 9
Flawless performance. Absolutely flawless performance. A 10/10 would not be out of place. Omeruo did everything, and then some. Even finding time to turn, dribble in the box and lay a square ball before finally capping his afternoon with a first senior international goal.



NDIDI 9
Similarly immense performance from the Leicester man. He won man of the match in the first game and was good for it again in this one. Were it not for Omeruo’s goal, he cou”d well have claimed consecutive honours. Highlight reel was when he twisted and turned away from tw9 defenders, going one way as they went cross eyed, to the other.

ETEBO 8
Pace, power passing. Etebo did it all along with Ndidi. He was the prophylaxis against Keita, and just about any other Guinean player who attempted to breach the blockade he had set up with Ndidi.

IWOBI 7
Not his best day by a long shot. Nightmare opening 15 minutes for him, especially when bisngiveaway almost led to a goal but for Balogun. Then he had a chance from a bpMusa. All to set up Ighalo and dallied until he was dispossessed. Picked up in the second half and was hooked when he tried out late in the game.

MUSA 8
Brought lace and invention into the side. Constant,y threatened to get in behind and create opportunities. Should have had a goal if Ighalo had looked up and squared for him. Set up Ighalo on two occasions but both chances went abegging. Threatened a goa, one end, then tacked all the way back the next minute to pick up a professional foul on the break away Kamano and accepted his yellow card with equanimity

SIMON 8
On for Chukwueze to provide tracking cover for Awaziem, Simon did his job to perfection 

IGHALO 7
Didn’t score on the day but his bruising strength, pace and skilled footwork meant the Burundi defenders could not dare step out of the line.

SUBS
CHUKWUEZE (ON FOR MUSA)
Did not do enough to rate 

Onuachu (ON FOR Ighalo)
Did not do enough to rate 


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