Ademola Lookman scored both goals at the Stade Félix-Houphouët-Boigny in Ivory Coast as the Super Eagles put up an audacious performance to defeat Cameroon.
Victor Osimhen’s press paid off as Jean-Charles Castelletto folded under pressure before the Napoli striker found a well-placed pass into the path of Lookman who put the ball home before a well-placed cross from Calvin Bassey was squared home by Lookman for the second of the game.
Soccernet.ng rates the performance of the Nigerian players as they sealed qualification to the quarter-finals of the AFCON 2023 tournament.
1. Christian Nwabali 6.8/10: The Chippa United was unable to complete the game after he was fouled twice in quick succession and was replaced by Francis Uzoho in the final ten minutes. Nwabali didn’t make any saves throughout the game, but his sweeping abilities as a goalkeeper were useful whenever Cameroon hit on the break.
2. Ola Aina 7.1/10: The Nottingham Forest full-back was locked in with his duels. He won all of the tackles he went into and nearly got an assist for himself after his well-placed cross almost found Osimhen. His confident purple patch grew a shade darker as he showcased his flair without a need to fret.
3. William Troost Ekong 7.1/10: The PAOK central defender put up an incredible performance at the back. Thanks to him, Frank Magri was unable to get a single shot on goal as the 30-year-old defender closed down the channels on the ground and in the air.
4. Semi Ajayi 7/10: The West Bromwich Albion defender thought he’d opened the scoring for Nigeria just nine minutes into the game but the goal was ruled out for offside. He won all the tackles he was involved in and had his best game since the AFCON tournament kicked off in Ivory Coast.
5. Calvin Bassey 7.6/10: Bassey featured across several positions, shuffling between central defence, and wing-back duties. He won the most duels in the match (13), and his cheeky cross created the second goal of the game for Nigeria.
6. Zaidu Sanusi 6/10: The Porto full-back was shaky at the back and indecisive in the build-up. His crosses were overhit and he was taken off in the 80th minute, with Kenneth Omeruo coming on to replace him.
7. Frank Onyeka 7/10: The Brentford man put in a decent shift in midfield, sat deep and didn’t allow Zambo Anguissa to have a sniff of space before breathing down his neck. He also made nine ball recoveries.
8. Alex Iwobi 6.9/10: The Fulham man played in the centre of the park yet again, and missed a chance to score for himself. He put in a decent shift and helped the defence to clear the coast whenever they were under pressure.
9. Ademola Lookman 8.5/10: The Atalanta man scored the two goals of the game. His runs and trickery caused all sorts of trouble for the Indomitable Lions’ defence. He also created two big chances and combined well with Victor Osimhen up-front.
10. Moses Simon 6.1/10: The Nantes winger played 90 minutes and completed just seven passes all game. His runs were excellent but the end product was absent, which seems to be a recurring theme whenever he features for the Super Eagles.
11. Victor Osimhen 7.5/10: The Napoli striker was a menace all game for the Cameroon central defenders. His initial press on Jean-Charles Castelletto won the ball for the Super Eagles and he played a cushioned pass to set up Ademola Lookman for the opener.
Kenneth Omeruo 5.5/10: The Kasimpasa defender added experience at the back for Jose Peseiro’s men. His introduction pushed Bassey up-front which led to the creation of the second goal.
Francis Uzoho: The Omonia S.C. goalkeeper came on for the injured Nwabali with ten minutes left on the clock and barely got involved.
Bright Osayi-Samuel, Paul Onuachu: Came on in added time to help Nigeria seal the win.
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