Thursday, May 23, 2024

Nigeria 2-0 Cameroon (Player Ratings): Lookman Confirms Status

A calm and controlled performance from the Super Eagles showed a more mature side to Peseiro’s team.

 

The Indomitable Lions were toothless against the Super Eagles when they don’t meet in the AFCON final.

Coach Jose Peseiro has seemingly found the winning formation that has ensured defensive solidity, as they made it three consecutive matches without conceding a goal.

Though it was not vintage Super Eagles, it was as clinical a display as we will see at this AFCON tournament as Ademola Lookman proved why he has to be considered before the frustrating Samuel Chukwueze.

Victor Osimhen’s endeavours will pay off in goals very soon, as his hard work pressuring defenders is reaping great rewards in Cote d’Ivoire.

Below are the ratings of the performances of the players who played against Cameroon on Saturday.

Stanley Nwabali: 80 minutes [27, 4 caps]

Rating: 7/10

Nwabali was largely on holiday, and when he was called on, he made clearing punches that relieved the pressure on his defenders until he was injured by Georges-Kevin N’Koudou. Nigerians will be praying he gets better before Friday’s encounter against Angola.

Semi Ajayi: 90 minutes [30, 27 caps]

Rating: 6/10

Ajayi believed he had given the Eagles the lead in the ninth, but his left foot had strayed offside. The West Brom defender sometimes looks shaky on the ball. There was a moment in the first half when he lost the ball when he had easy passing options.

William Troost-Ekong: 90 minutes [30, 68 caps]

Rating: 7/10

The Eagles captain was a colossus at the back, making sure he was always well-positioned to thwart Cameroon’s attacks. He won all eight duels and made five clearances as he led the team to another clean sheet.

Calvin Bassey: 90 minutes [24, 13 caps]

Rating: 7.5/10

Another excellent performance from the Fulham defender, and he was fully deserving of the assist for Lookman’s second goal. He contested 17 duels and won 13. He also made three successful tackles from four and had one interception. Whether it was in a back three or as the left wing-back, Bassey continues to shine.

Ola Aina: 90 minutes [30, 34 caps]

Rating: 7.5/10

Aina was once again imperious, and it would have been the icing on his cake if his goal-bound shot was not blocked by Nouhou Tolo in the closing minutes of the encounter. He rendered Cameroon’s most dangerous player, Georges-Kevin N’Koudou, largely inconsequential.

Frank Onyeka: 90 minutes [26, 16 caps]

Rating: 7/10

The Brentford man continues to go about his work quietly. A driving run in the second half almost won a penalty for his team, but it was more his intuition and strength that helped defuse Cameroon’s midfield, which was led by his namesake, Frank Zambo Anguissa. He won 50 per cent of the 14 duels he contested.

Alex Iwobi: 90 minutes [27, 67 caps]

Rating: 6.5/10

Given the more conservative nature of his role in Peseiro’s formation, Iwobi’s semi-assist for the second goal is more like what he is usually known for. He was at the right place at the right time, ensuring there were no gaps for the Cameroonians to exploit.

Zaidu Sanusi: 80 minutes [26, 15 caps]

Rating: 6/10

Sanusi oscillates from the very good to the absurd in seconds. He literally confuses himself at his next action, but the Porto man played well and defended well even though he gave away some needless fouls and made many wrong passes.

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