The referee on Saturday, Bakary Gassama from the Gambia, arguably Africa’s best, was the major talking point after denying the Super Eagles two clear goals – one in the first half from Kelechi Iheanacho and another in the second half from Ahmed Musa.
At the end of the match, the Eagles were held to a 1-1 draw by their South African host.
The Super Eagles though did not do or show enough to get the victory even though they scored first – an own goal.
The Eagles with the one point gained finished the day as Group E leaders and a ticket to Cameroon 2019.
Against their determined South African opponent, the performance of the Nigerian players varied between poor and very good.
|Kelechi Ezenwa||90||Was not at fault for the equaliser and commanded his box very well even though the defenders in front of him were equal to any South African assignment given to them.||6/10|
|Kenneth Omeruo||90||Was caught out ball watching as Percy Tau ghosted past to lay on the equaliser. Apart from that glitch, he effectively handled the physical examination from Lebo Mothiba.||6.5/10|
|Leon Balogun||90||His inactivity in the EPL with Brighton did not show, as much as feared though he needed to make faster decisions with lofted balls in his direction.||6/10|
|William Troost -Ekong||90||Apart from when he and Omeruo were caught out by Tau’s brilliance, Ekong was solid and first to every 50/50 ball that had to be cleared. Though it has to be said that as leader of that three-man defence, he did not communicate enough.||6/10|
|Jamilu Collins||90||Maybe the change to a back three and a wing-back role made his job more difficult because often in the match, he was caught out of position.||5/10|
|John Ogu||90||Was solid in the centre of the pitch and a solid tackling ability that ensured the centre-backs were not put under too much pressure.||6.5/10|
|Oghenekaro Etebo||90||Was just adequate as there was no sign of the driving runs from midfield and shots on goal||6/10|
|Alex Iwobi||90||The only adjective to describe Iwobi was that he was just poor. Lax in control, no sense of where his forward players were and a complete lack of a competitive edge as he was repeatedly robbed of the ball.||4/10|
|Samuel Kalu||81||Kalu was the man of the match on the Nigerian side. Played out of position as a wing-back, he ran the right flank like a commander and created the Nigerian goal by driving into the box||7.5/10|
|Ahmed Musa ©||85||Musa was denied a goal and an assist by the Gambian referee. The Al Nassr forward was a burst of energy every time he got on the ball.||7/10
|Kelechi Iheanacho||69||His poor form was encapsulated in the 35th minute of the first half when he failed to control a pass from Musa effectively, which could have given him a goal scoring chance.||5/10
|Isaac success||21||Brought a physical component to the forward line but there was not enough time to make a marked difference.||5/10
|Gernot Rohr||Again, Rohr showed he is a steady coach – one that thinks first of not losing than of beating the opponent. Iwobi was so poor, he could have been replaced in the 30th minute but the German trainer waited until the 92nd minute to make the change.||5/10
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...