The Super Eagles game against Zambia was a one of of two halves. Nigeria was pathetic in the first half, they allowed the Zambians free reign in and around the midfield, though Fegor Ogude tried hard to contain the rampaging Zambians. The 4-3-3 formation Coach Stephen deployed didn't work to full effect because the midfield wasn't tight and creative enough to release Ahmed Musa and Victor Moses who played as auxiliary strikers to Emmanuel Emenike. Musa was the main culprit as his wayward crossing put paid to promising counter attacks by Nigeria.
The second half was much more better as Nigeria began to assert themselves on the game. Igiebor for me, was the weakest link in the midfield, his basketball type zonal marking left Ogenyi Onazi ( playing in an unfamiliar right back role) exposed even though both Victor Moses and Ahmed Musa who were alternating between the wings should have tracked back better to support him.
Below is my rating of the Super Eagles players
Vincent Enyeama: Had little to do, but when called to action, did so effectively, was assured throughout the game. Kennedy Mweene's penalty kick could have beaten anyone else. Decent outing the the Israel based shot stopper. 7/10
Ogenyi Eddy Onazi: Played at an unfamiliar right back position. Keshi must really rate him high to take such a gamble in a high profile match. He stuttered a bit at the beginning. The Zambians used his wing to do damage in the first half, but he came back strongly in the second half. Mayuka got a penalty call off him, he will grow from these experiences. 6/10
Elderson Echiejile: For me the weakest link in the defence, wayward passes characterized his game, and when he managed to get forward, his final balls were a let down. Down in confidence for most part of the game, managed to contain the chipolopolo captain Chris Katongo which was the only bright spot in his performance. He needs to brace up for stiffer challenges ahead. 5/10
Kenneth Omerou: The Ado den Haag defender shone like a million stars,at only 21, he put in a credible outing in only his 5th cap ( inclusive of the friendly games in the build up to the Afcon. Held the Zambians at bay and was always at the right spot at the right time. Covered up effectively for his partner in the central defence position Godfrey Oboabona. He is certainly looks the part, and he will sure be a mainstay in the Super Eagles defence in the future. 8/10
Godfrey Oboabona: He did quite well, even though the rough edges in his game still showed. Picked up an unnecessary yellow card. The Sunshine stars captain is slowly but assuredly gaining in confidence which can only do good for his national team career. A long journey with the Super Eagles surely beckons. 6/10
Nosa Igiebor: I rate him highly but he has been poor ( by his own high standards). The Real Betis man was lost for a better part of the game. His ball wining and passing ability didn't come through. Keshi's plan probably was to play him as a holding midfielder with Fegor Ogude while Mikel played a more advanced role, if that was the plan, it didn't work out. He needs to do more to justify his starting role in the team. 5/10
Fegor Ogude: For my money, the best midfielder in the team so far, always ready to rub the green, chase down opponents, and nick in the occasional tackle here and there. It's hard to believe the Valeranga man hasn't played competitive football for about 5 months. His enthusiasm earned him a yellow card in the first game and was always a second away from a yellow all the time. His work rate was massive. 7/10
John Mikel Obi: The supposed 'Oga' in the Nigerian midfielder, he did nothing to justify that tag, he flattered to deceive on many occasions doing the game. Spurts of his genius was far and in between to influence the game. His woeful penalty kick summed up his day, his run up to the penalty kick was poor, dropped shoulders while leaning back isn't something someone of his talent should do in a major tourney. Poor outing by the Chelsea man. 6/10
Victor Moses: A lot was expected of him, he missed the first game due to injury ans was expectedly started versus Zambia. He was quite impressive in the opening first half but gradually fizzled out as the match went on. He made life miserable for the young Chipolopolo left back Emmanuel Mbola when he had the chance to run at him. He got tired and had to be substituted. Not a bad outing for the Chelsea frontman. 6/10
Ahmed Musa: This was a match to forget for the CSKA Moscow man.He was good for pace, but his final ball was terrible, skipped past his man from time to time but he just didn't wear his crossing boots ( if he ever hard one). I personally feel he should play through the middle and not from the flanks. Musa needs to step up his game, he really needs to, Ejike Uzoenyi might just be waiting in the wings. 5/10.
Emmanuel Emenike: The burly power playing Spartak Moscow forward was alongside Kenneth Omerou the star performers on the afternoon for the Super Eagles. He was a constant menaceto the Zambian defenders, his goal was well taken, he cut his man inside and riffled a good shot past Mweene in goal for Zambia. Stopilla Sunzu had a torrid afternoon containing him. He has gradually developed from a club player to a national team player in the tourney. I expect big things from hin in the not too distant. 8/10.
I wont rate the subs because they didn't have enough time to create an impression in my opinion. So there you go, don't agree with me? Drop your comments let me hear what you have to say.....and please do