The Super Eagles of Nigeria put up a great show to defeat the Pharaohs of Egypt 1-0 in their opening game of the Africa Cup of Nations.
A Kelechi Iheanacho brilliant strike in the 30th minute was all Nigeria needed to secure an important win.
It was a dominant display from the team. This is Soccernet’s player ratings.
Maduka Okoye, 6.5/10: The Watford man was good between the sticks. He saved a shot early on in the game, but he was protected from then on. In the second half, he made a crucial save from point-blank range after Salah outpaced the Super Eagles centre backs.
Troost-Ekong, 8/10: Captain fantastic! The Watford defender marshalled his lads wonderfully, and he was firm in defence. He helped to keep the Egyptian star man Mohamed Salah quiet. His clearances were timely, and he was confident on the ball.
Kenneth Omeruo, 8/10: The Leganes defender put up an outstanding show in defence. He helped to keep the Egyptian attack at bay. He made no errors and was always there to sniff out dangerous attacks.
Ola Aina, 7/10: The former Chelsea fullback was outstanding. He kept it tight at the back and gave a lot of attacking support, especially in the second half. His forward runs often left the Egyptians in disarray.
Zaidu Sanusi, 7/10: Sanusi was outstanding in the game. He was sturdy in defence and managed brilliantly despite the Egyptians speed. He also made good forward runs. However, most of his crosses were not accurate.
Wilfred Ndidi, 8/10: the Leicester city midfielder continues to prove his worth. He was terrific in midfield. He broke play brilliantly and passed the ball well. His movements and work rate was also great.
Joe Aribo, 7/10: The former Charlton man was the engine in midfield. He had a very good game. He defended brilliantly and hardly put a foot wrong. Aribo’s passes were also accurate. With him in the middle of the park, the Super Eagles dominated.
Kelechi Iheanacho, 8/10: The Leicester City forward proved his ability yet again after his spectacular goal in the first half. He made positive runs upfront, and he formed a good partnership with Awoniyi. Even though he missed a sitter in the second half, he was very sharp on the night.
Samuel Chukwueze, 5/10: The 22-year-old had an average performance. Although his runs helped to keep the Egyptian defence at bay, he did not offer much upfront. His dribbles did not yield much, and despite being the attacker, Ola Aina, who was in the fullback position, made more attacking inputs.
Moses Simon, 8/10: The Nantes man brought his club form to the National team. He supplied the cross, which caused the only goal of the game. His runs often left the Egyptians in tatters, and his dribbles were also on point. However, most of his crosses failed to hit the target. Still, he was outstanding.
Taiwo Awoniyi, 6.5/10: The Union Berlin star made his first appearance for Nigeria at a senior tournament, but he was not overwhelmed. He used his speed and strength to trouble the Egyptian defenders. He formed good chemistry with Iheanacho up front and drew defenders to himself to create space for Iheanacho. However, he missed two chances that he should have tucked in.
Semi Ajayi 6/10: He quickly adjusted to the pressure from the Egyptians when he was introduced into the game. He put up a good performance.
Chidera Ejuke 6/10: The CSKA Moscow forward replaced Chukwueze, and he took his opportunity with both hands. He looked dangerous and was always positive on the ball. However, he was a bit selfish, as he could have supplied an assist late in the game after a great forward run.
Sadiq Umar 5/10: The Almeria man came on late in the game, and he had some good forward runs, but he did not affect the game much.