Super Eagles started their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign on a positive note after they defeated the Squirrels 2-1 at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Wednesday.
Former West Brom star Stephane Sessegnon gave the visitors a shock lead in the second minute but a first half stoppage time penalty by Victor Osimhen and Samuel Kalu’s brilliant goal in the second half handed Gernot Rohr’s men their first win of the campaign.
Here are Nigeria player ratings against the Squirrels of Benin.
Daniel Akpeyi(6): Made a return to the Super Eagles team since the 2019 AFCON in Egypt.
Made a few brilliant saves and can’t be held responsible for the Squirrels opening goal.
Ola Aina(6): Showed some flashes of brilliance as he controlled the left-full back position with his pace and attacking instincts.
The Torino defender’s positive play up front earned the Super Eagles a penalty after he was fouled by a Benin defender.
Jamilu Collins(6): Had a decent game but could have done better to prevent Sessegnon from scoring the opener but his display improved as the game wore on.
Williams Troost-Ekong(6.5): Despite failing to stop Benin’s early goal, the Super Eagles’ captain was calm in defence and perfectly sniffed out the threats posed by Benin’s main man Sessegnon throughout the game.
Semi Ajayi(5.5): Had a decent game but honestly could have done a lot better.
The Westbrom defender however made life difficult for the Beninouse attackers on some occasions.
Wilfred Ndidi(6.5): Assured performance from the Leicester City’s man as always.
Kept plugging away as the link man, picking up loose balls, recycling possession and most importantly, controlled the midfield.
Joe Aribo(6.5): The Rangers midfielder announced himself to Africa with his solid display, Aribo shows that he has great potential ahead of him for the national team as he was launching progressive moves from deep and also creating chances for his teammates.
Alex Iwobi(4.5): His display on the day characterized the real Iwobi who always blow hot and cold.
The Everton man showed why he still can’t be relied upon in the national team and was culpable of slowing down the Eagles attack.
Samuel Kalu(7): Had a brilliant game against the Squirrels and his individual brilliance beating Benin’s three defenders ensured that Nigeria went ahead.
Played with loads of confidence and he is certainly an attacking weapon for the Super Eagles on his day.
Samuel Chukwueze(5.5): Was ineffective in the first half as he was marked tightly by the Squirrels defenders but raised his game as the game progressed.
Victor Osimhen(7): Was impressive on the day, showed glimpses of why he’s called the Prince of Lille, and he perfectly dispatched the spotkick that put Nigeria on level terms.
ChidozieAwaziem (4): Came in for Ola Ainabut didn’t really have much impact on the game.
Moses Simon(4): Replaced Samuel Kalu in the 77th minute but couldn’t effect the game.
Ahmed Musa(4): The Al Nassr forward couldn’t replicate his recent club form where he bagged a brace lately,though the time was little for him to show his stuff as he replaced Osimhen in the 86th minute.
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