William Troost-Ekong scored the only goal at the Stade Olympique Ouattara in Ivory Coast as the host surrendered three points to Jose Peseiro’s men.
A foul on Victor Osimhen by Ousmane Diomande led the referee, Mustapha Ghorbal, to the VAR screen before awarding a penalty to Nigeria, which Ekong wasted no time in putting the ball in the back of the net.
Soccernet.ng rates the performance of the Nigerian players as they carted three points in front of the home crowd.
1. Christian Nwabali 7/10: Another great performance from the Chippa United goalkeeper. His decision-making, the way he cleared the ball from set pieces and how he commanded his back-line stood out. He made three solid saves to deny the hosts and has proven to deserve his number-one spot so far.
2. Ola Aina 7/10: The Nottingham Forest full-back was locked in with his duels. He put his body on the line several times and made sure he kept Jeremie Boga quiet for most of the game.
3. William Troost Ekong 8/10: Captain on the day, Ekong stood up to take the penalty amidst the plethora of attacking talents in the Super Eagles team and executed it perfectly. At the back, the PAOK centre-back won all of the tackles he went into, and kept a clean sheet for the Nigerian team.
4. Semi Ajayi 6.5/10: The West Bromwich Albion central defender once again struggled with the game’s physicality in the first half, but unlike the game against Equatorial Guinea, he grew into it and got his head back into the game. On the other end of the game, he disrupted the opponent’s defence by being a threat in the air from set-pieces.
5. Calvin Bassey 7.1/10: Bassey won nine duels, and had fifty-three touches all game. His physical strength played a huge role at the back for Jose Peseiro’s men, and he combined well with Zaidu Sanusi when the Porto full-back made overlapping runs.
6. Zaidu Sanusi 6.5/10: The Porto full-back was solid defensively and handed the set-piece duties to Ademola Lookman today. In attack, the final ball was mostly lacking from the wing-back, but he was solid at the back, winning eight of the duels he was involved in.
7. Frank Onyeka 7/10: The Brentford man put in a decent shift in midfield, although in an advanced position today with a solid back-three behind him. He caused all sorts of problems for the Ivorian team, causing break-ups in their ball progression.
8. Alex Iwobi 7/10: Surprisingly sprung into the central midfield position by Jose Peseiro, the Fulham player made five creative passes into the opposition’s box, and was very involved defensively, making six ball recoveries.
9. Ademola Lookman 6.8/10: The Atalanta man created three chances today, and 75% of his crosses were accurate. His set-piece deliveries were on point, but the physicality of the game looked to knock him off-course, and he was replaced by Bright Osayi-Samuel with eleven minutes left on the clock.
10. Samuel Chukwueze 6/10: The Milan winger couldn’t exploit the Ivorian defence with his trickery and pace, as his decision-making in the final third let him down on several scenarios.
11. Victor Osimhen 7/10: The Napoli striker won the penalty for Nigeria, and his hold-up play was excellent today, as he received loads of long balls from the back as they constantly cleared the ball out during times of intense pressure.
Bright Osayi-Samuel 5/10: The Fernabache man came on with eleven minutes to go, and his decision-making cost Nigeria the chance to score the second goal, as he opted to go all by himself rather than pass the ball.
Moses Simon 5.5/10: The Nantes winger replaced Samuel Chukwueze with eighteen minutes left on the clock, and struggled to effect any real change in the game.
Kenneth Omeruo: Came on to seal the game for Nigeria with ten minutes left on the clock.
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