Lesotho flipped the script on Nigeria in the opening 11 minutes of their 2021 AFCON qualifying match, netting the opener.
Masoabi Nkoto’s goal sprang the Eagles to life and quickly, they cranked up the tempo, two goals before the break and two more in the second half, before an unfortunate own-goal wrapped up a 4-2 win for Gernot Rohr’s men on the night.
Here’s our rating of the Super Eagles Players:
Daniel Akpeyi: 7
He had very little to do in the game, but was beaten twice, not fortuitously the first time, but rather painfully by his teammate for Lesotho’s second.
The goalkeeper’s awareness to come off his line to clear a lose ball with a header was one of his high points.
William Troost-Ekong: 7
Captained until the introduction of Ahmed Musa, and showed leadership in defence including accepting his fault in the first goal.
He made up for it subsequently throughout the game, with a solid defensive play to atone for the poor judgement on the flight of the ball and the prowess of Nkoto.
Semi Ajayi: 7
Hardly put a foot wrong in the game, except when he got booked. He was also strong defensively and would frequently make forward bursting plays, building up from behind.
Ola Aina: 8
He was solid all round and where he wasn’t shutting down attacking runs, he was starting his. It paid off when He grabbed an assist in the process.
Chidozie Awaziem: 7.5
He played as wing back and cover in a CB three, the latter on occasions. He had a good game on both ends of the pitch.
Wilfred Ndidi: 7
His role was very traditional, breaking up play or at least forcing the attackers back, limiting their options as far as shutting down space for passes. Ndidi tidied up his role, he was effective.
Joe Aribo: 8
Much like Ndidi in execution of his role, Aribo put the gloss on Nigeria’s fine midfield play aiding the smooth transition from defence to attack. He played effective football for 71 minutes until his substitution.
Alex Iwobi: 8
He had one of his finer games. Expressive, comfortable on the ball and always in a position of attacking threat. He scored in the 26th minute to bring the scoreline level; he was inside the box and unmarked.
Moses Simon: 7
He was the perfect dummy runner and would drag defenders out of position, but he didn’t really spark the game from the wings (right or left as he switched). He managed to get a few shots away.
Samuel Chukwueze: 7.5
Save for his goal, the winger was almost anonymous in the game. His final balls like punchlines didn’t really hit the bull’s eye.
Victor Osimhen: 10
He was unstoppable. Two assists and two goals. Hacked down twice but stayed on his feet. His teammates fed off his energy as he pressed in upfront and proved a handful in transition.
Ahmed Musa: 7
He had moments in the game, including one when he could have scored, but dragged his shot wide after a beautiful team play that also involved Osimhen.
Samuel Kalu: 7
His introduction added bite to the Eagles attack, as the team hitherto was on the back foot. He had a hand in the Eagles’ fourth goal.
Ramon Azeez: 7.5
Replacing Aribo meant he had to take on a more defensive role alongside Ndidi as Rohr looked to defend his 3-1 lead.
He added a cherry on it, with a well timed pass, on the break, to set up Osimhen for the latter’s second goal and Nigeria’s fourth.
Gernot Rohr: 9
Rohr will also earn points for his strategy; despite the slow start, his team picked up the pace and controlled for the most part. His substitutions were bang on and credit must go to the gaffer.