Sunday, July 14, 2024

Benin 2-1 Nigeria Player Ratings: Finidi Struggling To Identify Best Team

In the history of African football qualifiers, we have to go back almost 40 years to find a match where the Eagles lost after taking the lead.

It’s unprecedented in a World Cup qualifying series for Nigeria’s national football team to remain winless after four matches.

This is particularly perplexing, given that their group consists of Lesotho (149), Benin (97), Zimbabwe (122), and South Africa (59).

Below are the ratings for the players who faced Benin on Monday.

Stanley Nwabali: 90 minutes [28, 11 caps]
Rating: 6/10
Nwabali was the primary reason the Eagles didn’t concede more than two goals. The Chippa United goalkeeper was alert and almost corrected Bassey’s mistake in the first half. He was helpless for the second goal, as he was exposed and had to rush out of his goal at one point to prevent another scoring chance.

Semi Ajayi: 90 minutes [30, 36 caps]
Rating: 5/10
Ajayi made some crucial tackles to deny Benin scoring opportunities and was constantly in a physical battle with Mounie. He might feel he could have done better on Benin’s second goal.

Calvin Bassey: 90 minutes [24, 23 caps]
Rating: 3/10
Bassey had a dismal performance. The Fulham defender was directly responsible for Benin’s equaliser and failed to track Mounie for the second goal. His performance did not improve even after being moved to the left-back position in the second-half.

Bright Osayi-Samuel: 60 minutes [26, 16 caps]
Rating: 4/10
Osayi-Samuel had a topsy-turvy performance, lacking his usual attacking drive. He left the field injured on the hour mark.

Benjamin Tanimu: 90 minutes [21, 4 caps]
Rating: 6/10
In just his fourth cap, the Tanzania-based defender looks like a leader in the Nigerian defence. Moved from right back to centre-back, Tanimu’s defence-splitting pass to Chukwueze led to Nigeria’s goal. At 21, he seems to be a promising defensive rock for the future.

Raphael Onyedika: 90 minutes [23, 7 caps]
Rating: 5/10
Early days for Onyedika, who took his goal well. The Brugge man looked comfortable on the ball and passed decently, though opinions on him are still forming.

Wilfred Ndidi: 79 minutes [27, 55 caps]
Rating: 4/10
Ndidi lacked the energy and urgency needed to push his team forward. He played errant passes, nearly leading to a scoring chance for the opposition.

Alex Iwobi: 51 minutes [27, 74 caps]
Rating: 4/10
Iwobi’s struggle in the offensive midfield continues. Another poor outing for the Fulham forward raises more questions.

Ademola Lookman: 90 minutes [26, 21 caps]
Rating: 5.5/10
Lookman may be becoming selfish, choosing to go it alone rather than passing in a two-on-one situation late in the game. Despite this, he showed flashes of his usual brilliance.

Samuel Chukwueze: 59 minutes [25, 28 caps]
Rating: 5/10
Chukwueze was a bright spark down the right flank, creating Nigeria’s goal. His substitution raised questions about the coach’s decisions.

Terem Moffi: 51 minutes [25, 14 caps]
Rating: 3/10
Moffi continues to divide opinion. For 51 minutes, the Nice attacker was ineffective, unable to find or create scoring chances.

Substitutes

Paul Onuachu: 45 minutes [30, 21 caps]
Rating: 5/10
Onuachu added energy and was unlucky to be denied a last-minute equalizer by the crossbar.

Victor Boniface: 45 minutes [23, 5 caps]
Rating: 4/10
Boniface looked confused about his role in the attack, often drifting away from key positions.

Ibrahim Olawoyin: 30 minutes [26, 1 cap]
Rating: 5/10
Olawoyin showed flashes of potential in his first appearance for the Eagles.

Ismaila Sodiq: 30 minutes [20, 1 cap]
Rating: 3/10
The Remo Stars defender appeared overwhelmed by the occasion, struggling to make an impact.

Alhassan Yusuf: 11 minutes [23, 5 caps]
Rating: 4/10
Yusuf was active in the center of the pitch, linking passes forward.

Manager: Finidi George [47, 2nd game as Eagles manager]
Rating: 3/10
Finidi showed he is still struggling to find his best team. His starting lineup and substitutions were questionable, and his side’s weakness from set pieces remains a significant issue. Finidi has nine months to address these problems and forge a winning combination from the talented players at his disposal.

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