Player Rating: How Super Eagles fared against Algeria

Algeria-vs-Nigeria
Algeria vs Nigeria [Photo Credit: Complete Sports]

The 2018 World Cup qualifiers came to a positive end for the Super Eagles on Friday in Constantine, Algeria. Though the match was played out on a bumpy pitch in Rabah Madjer’s latest stint as Algeria coach, Gernot Rohr sent out a team that got the desired result.

It could have been better but for the performance of the Gabonese referee, Eric Arnaud Otogo-Castane, who should have sent off Algeria captain, Yacine Brahimi, before giving a phantom penalty to the home side in the 87th minute. Here are the ratings for the Super Eagles:

Ikechukwu Ezenwa

He played for 90 minutes.

The only home-based player in the squad did not really have anything to do. He flopped on a high cross and on a low cross and had no chance to save the phantom penalty

6/10

Shehu Abdullahi

He played for 90 minutes.

The Cyprus-based midfielder did well to shackle Yacine Brahimi, who was so frustrated he attempted a head-butt for which he should have seen a red card. Was never found out for pace and stayed positionally accurate on one-on-one situations.

7/10

Ola Aina

He played for 90 minutes.

On his full debut, was a bit lazy in getting out to block crosses but showed he is a good header of the ball and the long throw is a weapon he can develop in the coming months. Still raw, and it showed.

6/10

Leon Balogun

He was on the pitch for 90 minutes.

Was continuously hampered by the bumpy Stade Mohamed-Hamlaoui pitch but got to grips with the handicap in the second half. His mask was torn off in a moment of ire when Brahimi scored from the manufactured penalty by Gabonese referee, Eric Arnaud Otogo-Castane

6/10

Troost Ekong

He played all 90 minutes.

The Bursaspor central defender was a rock in defence repelling all the attacks the Algerians were able to mount. He needs to understand a bit better the psychology of speedy forwards. But if he continues to progress at the present rate, would be a bastion for the Super Eagles for many years to come.

7/10

Oghenekaro Etebo

He played all 90 minutes.

He was average compared to the Etebo of the Olympics – maybe also hampered by the bumpy pitch. Was marooned on the left side of midfield in the first half but moved to a more central position in the second half. He did not affect the match like he would have.

5/10

John Ogu

He was on for all 90 minutes.

Started slowly when he got his passes short or had the wrong body shape when the Algerians tried to counter. He got better as the match wore on and scored a glorious curler that would have been the winner. Rohr would be thinking of how to best use his hulking presence in Russia.

7/10

Wilfred Ndidi

He played all 90 minutes.

The Leicester man showed why he has the highest interceptions plus tackles in the EPL. He covered every blade of grass and comfortably won all his duels. He needs to improve on his final ball in the last third

7.5/10

Nwakaeme

He was on the pitch for 71 minutes.

Did not really light up Constantine and he may have missed the last chance to impress Rohr. Though it has to be said he was played through the middle instead of down the left flank like he normally does at his Israeli side, Hapoel Be’er Sheva.

5/10

Alex Iwobi

He played for 81 minutes.

The Arsenal man was lively and produced good touches even though his last pass let him down throughout. On two occasions, he could have laid balls on a plate for his mates but he miscued at the last minute. Almost sparked a melee towards the end of the match and rightly pulled out by Rohr.

6/10

Kelechi Iheanacho

He played all 90 minutes.

Started out on the right flank and was unable to affect the course of the match even though he threatened through some set pieces. Not the fastest forward, he did return to help Abdullahi out sometimes

6/10

Henry Onyekuru

He was on for the last 19 minutes.

Was too anxious to impress and showed glimpses of his speed. Needs the trust of Rohr to bloom in the team.

5/10

Ahmed Musa

He played for nine minutes.

Not enough time to give a performance.

Gernot Rohr

He showed that he has the foundation of the structure and should be able to mold a more concise team in the six weeks before the commencement of the World Cup next year.

7/10


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