Osimhen MOTM; Etebo’s freekick – how Super Eagles players rated vs Sao Tome & Principe

The Super Eagles walloped Sao Tome and Principe on Monday to open a lead in Group A of the 2023 AFCON qualifiers

Victor Osimhen climbed up the all-time scorers’ chart with his 15th goal in 23 games. He has now scored more Super Eagles goals than any member of the current setup despite coming at least six years later than the longest-standing member of the squad, Ahmed Musa.

The game also saw the Super Eagles score a freekick for the first time in a long time as Oghenekaro Etebo whipped in a beauty from a difficult position.

See players’ ratings below;

 

Francis Uzoho: He could have stayed in the middle and nothing would happen in the game. Simply on holiday. He barely had anything to do.  – 5/10

Ola Aina – Considering how Nigeria cruised all game, it wasn’t one Aina’s best as he struggled to get in the groove. Picked up a foot injury later and was rightly subbed for Shehu Abdullahi. – 5.5/10

Zaidu Sanusi – Covered the attacking areas well and made the left wing his. Looked suspect defensively and almost conceded a fluke penalty from nowhere. Not sure Peseiro will be carried away by his beautiful attacking performance and defensive frailties. – 6.5/10

Semi Ajayi – started the game with a brake in his leg. Made some forced unsuccessful passes in a bid to break the Sao Tomeans early. Showed good alertness to foil any form of danger from the small island nation. His passing also improved with the game. – 7/10

Calvin Bassey – Always in control. Never out of place or out of sorts. Showed fantastic ball usage and handling and his marshaling of the defense went a long way in pushing the attack. Stayed at the heart of the defense and was a solid rock, although hardly saw a match in the Sao Tomeans. – 8/10

Oghenekaro Etebo – Held on to the ball for too long at times as he tried to bring others into the game. Scored a fantastic freekick, the first Nigeria has scored in a long time. Not spectacular by his standard but so was the opposition. – 7/10

Alex Iwobi – Iwobi’s resurgence is good to see. Regardless of who the opponent is, he steps into the fray and plays his football. His decision-making and forward passing were excellent against Sao Tome. Kept the team on the front foot all game. – 8/10

Moses Simon – Captain fantastic. On a rare outing as Nigeria’s skipper, he skipped past players for fun. Delivered a sumptuous cross for Osimhen’s first and rested as the game wore on. He was subbed off early to have a deserving rest. – 8/10

Ademola Lookman – Still bedding into the African game. He struggled to get going and hardly took a foot right. His crosses went sailing and out and his decision-making left little to savour. He, however, got his first goal for the Super Eagles. – 6/10

Terem Moffi – With Osimhen, Moffi pressed well but had little ideas of what to do with the ball when he had it. Could have scored more than twice if he was anything close to proficient in the game. Against a better opposition, his performance may have been not good enough but a brace should brace him up for the future. Not a bad game overall – 7/10

Victor Osimhen – Four goals and two assists and it could have double but for some tough offside calls and profligate marksmanship. Ran the channels well and constantly gave the midfielders and defenders passing options. His endless running caused all manners of problems for Sao Tome and his four goals show he had a great game. Now 9th on the all-time list with 15 international goals and you’re not sure he won’t be number one anytime soon. – 9/10

Substitutes

Ahmed Musa – Musa looked sharp when he came on and provided some assists in the game. His running was purposeful and was a good substitute for Simon. Never put off the gas. – 7/10

Shehu Abdullahi – Nothing near Aina’s performance even in his subdued state. His decision making wasn’t all that and hardly influenced the game in any way. – 5/10

Leon Balogun – Slotted in well for Bassey and his passing and ball reading was good. Pushed well and had little to do defensively. – 5.5/10

Emmanuel Dennis – Scored a penalty he won. Urgency still a problem in his game and he must step up if he wants to play regularly under Peseiro. – 6/10

Sadiq Umar – Ran the channels again and looks constantly like a player Peseiro may look to deploy in some games moving forward. Came close to scoring but didn’t find the net. – 5/10

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