The Super Eagles of Nigeria failed to achieve silverware at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, but they showed glimpses of what they could offer.
Orlando Pirates star Olisa Ndah was one of the positives from the Eguavoen tutored side.
The last three years have been terrific for Ndah, from playing for Remo Stars in the second tier of Nigerian football to playing for arguably the biggest team in South Africa, Orlando Pirates.
The 24-year-old joined Akwa United in 2018, but last season was his breakthrough season. The Super Eagles Star was one of the best defenders in the Nigeria Professional Football League, helping Akwa United win the league- their first-ever.
With Ndah in defence, the Promise Keepers conceded just 24 goals in 38 league games, the least in the league.
His consistent performances earned him a place in the Super Eagles team B team that took on Mexico in July last year. Unfortunately, it was a poor outing for him, as Nigeria were pummeled 4-0 by the most successful CONCACAF team.
However, his quality was never in doubt, as former South African Premier League champions Orlando Pirates swooped in for his signature.
The calm as ice centre-back back has not wasted any time settling in his new environment, with 14 appearances in all competitions for Orlando Pirates this season.
Despite his impressive displays, the Nigerian star was overlooked by the former Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr. But under new interim boss Augustine Eguavoen, he finally got a call up to the Super Eagles for the 2021 AFCON.
Fortune also swung to his favour, as Super Eagles regular Leon Balogun pulled out of the AFCON due to injury, and Chidozie Awaziem struggled with fitness throughout the competition.
The 24-year-old made his competitive debut for Nigeria when he came on as a substitute in the 2-0 victory against Guinea-Bissau.
Sadly for him, his time at the AFCON was cut short after Nigeria’s 1-0 loss to Tunisia in the Round of 16.
However, despite the disappointment of the AFCON, Ndah has enough quality to reach beyond the stars.