Four minutes to a new history, four minutes to keep Argentina out, but Argentina’s left back, Marcus Rojo, found a way just like he found in 2014 in Brazil. But this time, the consequence of his goal was much greater.
No blames should be ascribed anywhere because football matches are won because of the opponent making mistakes. And the Super Eagles made collective mistakes but they gave all they could.
PREMIUM TIMES rates the Nigerian players based on their performance against Argentina.
|Francis Uzoho||6/10||Maybe he could have done more for the two goals but maybe also he just could not save those goals. He finger tipped a Lionel Messi freekick against the post and blocked Gonzalo Higuain’s path to goal. He gave his best.|
|Leon Balogun||5/10||Was jittery and nervous in the first half and showed he lacks some speed. He grew into the game but he did not communicate very well with his other defenders/|
|William Troost-Ekong||4/10||Was caught out of position for both goals. As the central person in the three-man defence, he needed to have done much more. For the second goal, he could have communicated the danger sooner and had someone get around Rojo.|
|Kenneth Omeruo||5/10||Maybe we saw why he has not grown as we expected – a lack of speed and intuition to smell out danger.|
|Victor Moses||5/10||Seemed lackadaisical and only wanted to attack and not defend. Rojo scored from the position he should have been covering but he scored a penalty.|
|Brian Idowu||5/10||Was solid defensively though he looked to have lost some steam in the last 10 minutes. Defending a goal with the clock winding down, he should not have allowed the cross that led to the second goal.|
|Mikel Obi||6/10||He played with an injured wrist and led the Eagles very well. He covered the spaces and ensured the referee did not get carried away with the histrionics of the Argentina team.|
|Wilfred Ndidi||5/10||As usual, covered the midfield area like he always does, making tackles and denying space to others. We don’t know what he was told to do but Ever Banega found too much space to operate.|
|Oghenekaro Etebo||5/10||Etebo overdid it against Argentina. He held on to the ball too long when he could have made simple passes to teammates. Surely, he will learn from this and understand that football an be simple.|
|Ahmed Musa||5/10||Was not given the room to operate and Rohr should have tinkered with his position. He stayed on the left flank and produced one goal scoring moment.|
|Kelechi Iheanacho||4/10||He seemed to lose his bearing anytime he got the ball in the offensive third. Was caught in two minds when he could have made better attacking decisions. Still young and learning, this was a steep learning curve|
|Odion Ighalo||3/10||Not pointing fingers but Ighalo, in the final analysis, lost the Eagles this match. He could have taken one of those two chances late in the second half and the best the Argentines would have got would be a draw. He will have flashes of those moments for the rest of his life.|
|Alex Iwobi||NA||Was too late to make any difference|
|Simeon Nwankwo||NA||Was too late to make any difference|
|Gernot Rohr||5/10||He showed a bit of naivety in the last 10 minutes. Leading with a goal, there needed to be game management, which he should have done by changing his formation to a 4-5-1 so that he would keep two banks of four as a defensive shield. Moses continued to attack when he should have been defending. He will have learned a lot from the World Cup going forward.|