The Super Eagles started their 2016 African Nations Championship on a winning note Monday evening. The home-based Eagles side scored four second-half goals after a dour first half to defeat the Mena of Niger 4-1.
Completesportsnigeria.com's IZUCHUKWU OKOSI rates the Eagles stars after the game…
The Sunshine Stars goalkeeper had a splendid performance in the game. He dealt with the aerial balls brilliantly but could do nothing to stop the fierce shot that led to Niger's only goal scored by Zakari Adebayor. 7/10.
Etim played at right-back and had a decent game. He gave away some freekicks though but had a better second half than the first when his composure on the ball and clearance were more encouraging. 6/10.
The Super Eagles captain was commanding from the rear and was quick to clear the ball away from danger when the Nigeriens opted to attack from his position. His reading of dangerous situations was excellent although a couple of times he was caught ball watching. 7/10.
The 3SC defender had a nightmarish performance. He struggled to keep pace with the dangerous Idrissa Halidou Garba and gave away unnecessary free-kicks. He was substituted by Orji Kalu within the first 17 minutes of the match after he was yellow-carded. Poor game by the defender. 2/10.
The Sunshine Stars defender is one of the five players from the Akure club in the squad and who also started the game.
Eze started in the absence of the suspended Austin Obaroakpo. He was impressive, especially with the second balls and in dealing with aerial threats from Niger. 7/10.
El Kanemi's Matthew had good pre-Championship performances in the tune-up games against Angola and Cote d' Ivoire but the match against the Mena was clearly not one of his better performances for the Eagles.
Most times he gave away the balls although his game improved slightly in the second half. 6/10.
Warri Wolves midfielder Ikechukwu Ibenegbu was missing for most part of the game and was seemingly only available to take the free-kicks for the Eagles.
Ibenegbu had a very poor game despite clearly being a very experienced player. 4/10.
This was not a splendid performance by the Sunshine Stars midfielder. He managed to set his team-mates up with some nice passes. However there were those that went astray and he needs to weigh them better. 6/10.
The speedy Rangers forward was a constant threat to Niger's defence in this game and his crosses were tantalising.
He scored one of the goals and weighed in with an assist. 8/10.
The Sunshine Stars left-sided forward was a constant menace to Niger's defence. His quick feet and dribbles caused all sorts of trouble for the Mena of Niger defenders however his final balls in the first half were mostly disappointing. He however provided an assist in the second half. 7/10.
The massively built striker provided the assist which Osas Okoro scored from to open the floodgates of goals for Nigeria.
Adeniji's physicality was an asset to the Eagles but he was guilty of reacting slowest to a fine pass from Osas Okoro in the 30th minute. Adeniji was later substituted by Chisom Chikatara. 6/10.
The Abia Warriors striker announced his name to the world with a splendid second half performance against Niger.
Chikatara scored three world class goals after coming off the bench and could have scored more but for his desire to go for glory.
The forward was deservedly handed the Orange Man-of-the-Match award for his wonderful performance.
The 'Kolanut Boy' has proven his talent. He needs to play this good more regularly though. 9/10.
The defender replaced the ineffectual Jamiu Alimi and asserted himself well in the central defence. Kalu's interceptions and clearances were commendable. 6/10.
The Taraba United midfielder was introduced by Sunday Oliseh to shore up the midfield and he helped bring stability to the midfield that gave away the ball mostly in the first 45 minutes. His ball-winning ability was key in the home Eagles not handing the Nigeriens the initiative who sought to score more goals after Zakari Adebayor's thunderbolt. 5/10.
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