Nigeria v Atletico Madrid: Player Ratings

Super Eagles Team B
Super Eagles Team B

Nigeria put out a collection of home-based players and some Europe-based players, most of who had played for some of the junior teams.

With an average age of 22 years, the team performed creditably.

Most of the team players were meeting for the very first time and had only trained thrice together.

They, however, showed that Nigeria has a huge depth of talent with two television goals to show for their effort in the GoTVMax Cup 3-2 loss to UEFA Europa League champions, Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

The game was played at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.

PlayerClubAgeRatingExplanation
Olufemi ThomasEnugu Rangers286/10Made some great saves to keep the Eagles in the game but was culpable for Torres’ header, which went through the goalkeeper’s arms.
Musa MuhamedLokomotiv Plovdiv217/10Good forward forays and added incision to the Eagles whenever he went forward.
Ebube DuruLobi Stars236/10Showed good positional sense and quick feet. Joined the attack at every opportunity.
Olamilekan AdeleyeFC Ifeanyi Ubah226/10Showed his inexperience by trying to keep moving forwards offside. Will learn from the experience
Chinedu AjanaKatsina United216.5/10Was full of commitment in defensive and forward positions. Should have done better with a free header in the first half.
Kelechi NwakaliMVV Maastricht197.5/10He showed his command of the ball and directed in and around him. Didn’t recall him losing the ball even in tight spaces and his goal was world class
Chiedebere NwakaliAberdeen FC216.5/10Was a bit muted in the first half but came into his own towards the end of the game after he drifted to the left flank.
Abdulahi AlhassanAustria Vienna215/10Was not up to speed and looked sluggish in possession and justifiably was substituted in the first half.
Ekundayo OjoSunshine Stars235/10Was not his usual exuberant self and got lost in midfield traffic.
Emem EduokKasimpasa244/10He will be disappointed with his performance, which culminated in giving the ball away for Atletico’s equaliser.
Kadiri SamidiLobi Stars226/10Full of running and caused the Atletico defence some anxious moments. The chance he created for Ashadi merited a goal
Substitutes
Destiny AshadiKatsina United236/10

Should have scored with a cut back from Ashadi, which he skied. Apart from that, he brought some deep running from midfield into action.
Tosin OmoyelePlateau United215/10

Was not quickly up to speed and his control left much to be desired. Had a chance late in the game to test the Atletico goalkeeper with a header but he fluffed his lines.
Usman MohamedSarpsborg246.5/10Olympic team midfielder showed with the second goal that he may have something to offer the Eagles in future.
Ikouwem UtinEnyimba FC186.5/10Came on late but still showed why he is highly regarded. If he continues to improve, he will be fighting for the Eagles’ left back position in the next 12 months.
CoachSalisu Yusuf6/10

His players, despite just three trainings showed there is great hope for football in Nigeria while his substitutions were almost all on point.

Conclusion

The man of the match for the Nigerian team was definitely Kelechi Nwakali, who said it was a good game. His goal, he added, was a ‘thing of joy’.

The younger Nwakali [19] is a midfield general in training, as he needs to bulk up and increase his rate of releasing the ball quicker than he is managing at the moment. With him, the Eagles may have an adequate replacement for the current captain, Mikel Obi.

Thomas Partey said Atletico is growing and have a growing number of fans in Africa. He added that the philosophy of the Spanish team was not ‘underrating any team’ which showed with his rough tackles throughout the encounter.


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