To stop five-time world champions Brazil from getting a victory everyone knows they badly crave, you need a five-star performance. The Super Eagles gave a semblance of that in Sunday’s contest in Singapore that ended 1-1.
The three-time African champions raced into the lead in the first half before they were pegged back early in the second period.
Beyond the collective performance, here is PREMIUM TIMES players’ ratings for Sunday’s international friendly.
Francis Uzoho 8: He was really massive against Brazil as he denied them a handful of scoring opportunities.
Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino both had clear chances but instead of scoring, they only brought out the best in Uzoho. Aside from the saves he made, he also controlled his defense perfectly and kept his cool aerially. Sadly, what should have been a sweet day for Uzoho turned sour as the goalkeeper was substituted after landing badly during an aerial battle in Nigeria’s 18-yard box.
William Troost-Ekong 7: The Udinese defender was rock solid at the back for Nigeria. The stand-in captain helped in checkmating most of the movement of Brazil’s Gabriel Jesus and his other teammates. Though not totally flawless, Ekong had a brilliant game all in all.
Semi Ajayi 6: Though he started quite slowly allowing the likes of Jesus and Arthur to dominate his position with ease, the West Brom defender did find his rhythm and registered an above-average performance.
Jamilu Collins 5: As always, he showed a great level of confidence with the ball and made some overlap that threatened the Brazil right-full back. But at some points, he started showing some signs of tiredness and his crosses where far from perfect.
Chidozie Awaziem 5: Played quite well in the defense; denying the duo of Firmino and Everton’s Richarlison a free day
Wilfred Ndidi 8: Though he failed to marshal the midfield properly in the early part of the game thus giving the Brazilians initial undue advantage, the Leicester City ace regained himself thereafter as he helped puncture a handful of Brazil’s attacks. He was booked later in the game
Alex Iwobi 5: The Everton forward gave possession away on a few of occasions and hardly threatened the Brazil defense. By and large, the Eagles’ playmaker did not have a good game as such.
Moses Simon 5: Not the best of games for the Nantes forward who did little or nothing to threaten the Brazil defence despite his wealth of experience.
Samuel Chukwueze 6: The Villarreal showed a glimpse of his pace and dribbles against Brazil but his final pass especially to strike partner Victor Osimhen left much to be desired. There is a lot still needed to work on for the youngster.
Joe Aribo 8: Already been nicknamed the new Okocha, he was one of the most outstanding players against Brazil and was rewarded with a beautiful goal. This is the second goal in as many games for the Rangers man.
Victor Osimhen 7: Though there was no goal to show for his hard work, the Lille striker was a thorn in the flesh of the Brazil defence with the duo of Marquinhos and Thiago Silva feeling the heat the most..
He could have scored in the 15th minute but Brazil goalkeeper, Ederson, parried the ball away.
Osimhen was substituted for Paul Onuachu in the 72nd minute.
Maduka Okoye 4: No real big moments to test his abilities though the Germany-based goalkeeper appears confident in goal
Paul Onuachu 4: Came on for Osimhen and could not change the result of the encounter.
Ramon Azeez: Very little time to make any meaningful impact in the game.
Peter Olayinka: Very little time to make any meaningful impact in the game.
Shehu Abdulahi: Very little time to make any meaningful impact in the game.