Nigeria delivered yet another uninspiring performance on Thursday, but were ultimately victorious against hosts Cote d’Ivoire thanks to William Troost-Ekong’s second-half goal.
The former Udinese defender fired in from the spot after Algerian referee Mustapha Ghorbal adjudged Ousmane Diomande to have fouled Victor Osimhen after consulting his pitchside monitor.
This is how 234football’s Uwem Uko rated the Nigeria players.
Ivory Coast vs NIGERIA
The busier goalkeeper. Kept out Seko Fofana’s long-range effort. Came off his line to claw the ball away from Nicholas Pepe, who looked destined to hit the target. Exuded confidence all evening. 7/10
Performed his defensive role well. Won 75 per cent of his tackles. Quite often supported the attack. Looked composed. 7/10
No Nigeria player had more touches than the FC Porto man (45). Wasted a chance to give Nigeria the lead towards the end of the first half after latching onto Ademola Lookman’s corner. Gave the ball away a couple of times. Sent some teasing crosses into the box. 6/10
Provided support to Ekong and Bassey. Won the two ground duels he contested during the match. 7/10
Scored the game’s only goal and made two vital last-ditch interceptions to stop goal-bound moves in the first half. He organised the back three perfectly and made the most headed clearances in the game (3). 8/10
Made the most tackles in the game (4). Was enterprising going forward. Made eight passes into the final third. No Nigerian player made more. 8/10
Made the first attempt of the match, following a set-up by Sanusi Zaidu. Recovered most balls from the opponents (9). The Brentford man and Ekong made the most interceptions in the match (2 each). 7/10
Created just a chance during the game, but did well in recovering the ball from the opponent (six times). 5/10
Proved to be a thorn in the flesh for his opponents on the right wing. Controlled a short pass in the box but took too long to shoot, allowing a defender to block his effort. Picked out Victor Osimhen with a lovely through ball. Unfortunately, the Napoli striker failed to score from close range. Taken off after 72 minutes following some poor decisions. 5/10
Should have scored in the eighth minute after being released by Chukwueze. Won his team a penalty. 6/10
Created the most chances (3) and sent decent crosses into the box. Produced an energetic performance. Was the most fouled forward and second most fouled player of the match (4). 7/10
Took the place of Sanusi Zaidu in the 80th minute. Made two clearances. Looked composed. 5.5/10
Replaced Chukwueze on the 72nd minute. Didn’t really do much. Could not complete a dribble. 4/10
Came on in the 88th minute and added bites to the Super Eagles attack. Gave the hosts some problems. Won two free-kicks in additional time. 5.5/10
Replaced Lookman in the 79th minute. Made fine solo dribble run after being put on by Iwobi, but had his final left-footed effort at the edge of the box blocked. Should have done better. 4/10