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Nigeria players ratings in AFCON opener win against Egypt

The Super Eagles of Nigeria secured a 1-0 win in their Africa Cup of Nations opener game against Egypt on Tuesday.

Nigeria totally outclassed Egypt in the encounter and deservedly won the clash.

All the players on the pitch played out their heart as Nigeria sent out AFCON warnings.

Simon Moses, Ola Aina, and Joe Aribo top our ratings but everyone played beautifully.

1. Maduka Okoye – (8)

Called to action twice, one in the first and one second half – he saved both attempts.
He was calm, commanded his lines and bossed the defence.

2. Ola Aina – (9)

You would have taken him for the right winger on the day. He was assured at the back and marauded forward at will.

He was involved in 90% of Eagles attack in the second half.

Could have scored a goal himself but made a mistake in the box – turned his mistake into an assist for Kelechi Iheanacho who fluffed the chance.

22. Kenneth Omeruo (8)

Helped kept Mo Salah quiet with his clearance and interceptions.

He was involved in the goal as his pass to Simon Moses led to the only goal of the game.

Was rock solid alongside Trost-Ekong at the back until he was injured late in the second half.

5. William Troost-Ekong (7)

Troost-Ekong solid today and alongside Kenneth Omeruo, dealth with Mo Salah.

He made a lot of successful passes from the back to Simon Moses.

Troost-Ekong could have easily been one of the top performers today but he almost caused Eagles.

The only time he lost concentration was when he was trying keep Mo Salah off but failed.

12. Sanusi Zaidu (7)

Did a professional job. Maybe needs to work on his play in the final third.

4. Wilfred Ndidi (8)

You know what it is the man himself. Did the usual and beyond.
Gave no room to Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny to dictate the pace of the game.

He sat back doing all the dirty job to free up Joe Aribo.

10. Joe Aribo (8)

Sometimes it felt like you were watching the best playmaker in the world.

He was calm on the ball and his final passes were killer passes.

Aribo assisted Kelechi Iheanacho goal and set up other chances which Eagles failed to convert.

14. Kelechi Iheanacho (8)

Senior man Kels scored the only goal of the game.

He was excellent today and only have himself to blame for not scoring more than one goal.

Kelechi dropped into the midfield to help Aribo and Ndidi.

He was also always ready to carry Taiwo Awoniyi along in the attack.

15. Simon Moses (9)

He was a constant threat to Egypt on the left flank.

Simon was played atop Zaidu to help deal with threat from Egypt from the flank but he himself became the threat.

He assisted the goal scored by Iheanacho in the 30th minutes.

As good as Simon Moses was today his deliveries after doing all the hard-work let him down.

If he can work on his final pass he would be extremely useful to the Super Eagles.

He also had a chance to score but missed it and he could have given away a penalty when he collided with an Egyptian in the box but the referee waved off the protest.

17. Samuel Chukwueze (6)

Was quiet today.

19. Taiwo Awoniyi (7)

Has a big shoes to fill but wouldn’t be unsatisfied with his display today.

His hold up play was fine and gave Ahmed Hegazy a run for his money. Awoniyi had his header pushed away shortly after Eagles scored first goal.

The Subs

18. Alex Iwobi (NA)

The former Arsenal man was 90th minutes sub for Simon Moses.

25. Kelechi Nwakali (6)

Was subbed on for Kelechi Iheanacho and helped calmed the midfield when Egypt turned on the heat. He set up Chidera Ejuke for his second shot on target.
13. Chidera Ejuke (7)

Came in for Samuel Chukwueze in the 72 minutes and did more than the Villarreal attacker in 18 minutes. He had two shots saved by the goalie.

24. Sadiq Umar (6)

Came in for Taiwo Awoniyi in the 72nd minutes but didn’t do too much to change anything.

6. Semi Ajayi (6)

Came in for injured Kenneth Omeruo and helped to maintain the clean sheet.

Coach Augustine Eguavoen (10)

Got his tactics spot on, made right changes and at the right time. Could join Egypt’s Mahmoud El Gohary and Nigeria’s Stephen Keshi as the only people to have won AFCON as a player and as a coach.

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