After defying all kinds of distractions to play key roles in driving the Olympic Eagles to Nigeria's only medal at the Rio 2016 Games, the trio of Mikel Obi, Oghenekaro Etebo and Imoh Ezekiel have been nominated as Complete Sports Player of the Month for August…
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Profiles presented by James Agberebi:
MIKEL OBI (CHELSEA/ENGLAND)
Mikel Obi shone like a million stars for Nigeria's Olympic football team in Rio 2016 who eventually won bronze.
Mikel who was one of the overraged players listed by coach Samson Siasia displayed his leadership qualities throughout the Games in August.
Not only was he involved in the team's general play, he also got amongst the goals giving Nigeria the lead in their 2-0 quarter-final win against Denmark on 13 August, his only goal at the Games.
Aside from the solitary goal he scored, the current Super Eagles skipper provided four assists (one against Denmark and three against Honduras) to cap a memorable debut at the Olympics.
It is imperative to note that Mikel was one of the few players who featured in all six Olympic Eagles matches.
OGHENEKARO ETEBO (CD FEIRENSE/PORTUGAL)
Despite sustaining a harmstring injury which cut short his participation at the Rio 2016, Oghenekaro Etebo showed what he is all at Rio 2016.
The former Warri Wolves player scored four goals in a dramatic 5-4 win against the Asian team in Nigeria's first group game on 4 August.
In the second game against Sweden on 7 August, it took the heroics of Andreas Linde to stop the rampaging Etebo who was looking to increase his goal tally.
Unfortunately, Etebo's contribution to Nigeria's quest of winning the gold came to an end after he got injured in the final group game against Colombia.
The injury notwithstanding, Etebo had already done enough to establish himself as one of Nigeria's best players and one of the top scorers in Rio.
IMOH EZEKIEL (AL-ARABI SC/QATAR)
Appearing in his first ever tournament for Nigeria, Imoh Ezekiel was undoubtedly one of the standout performers for coach Samson Siasia's side.
Imoh was a constant thorn in the flesh against Nigeria's opponents thanks to his pace, trickery and direct style of play.
Ezekiel got down to business right from the first game against Japan on 4 August and had a hand in the first goal scored by Umar Sadiq.
His second assist of the tournament came against Denmark on 13 August in the quarter-finals after he ghosted past his marker before laying the ball for Mikel to slot home.
Unfortunately, Ezekiel could not cap a brilliant display with a goal that would have been befitting of a remarkable outing for Nigeria.Unblock the FIFA World Cup with ExpressVPN the #1 Trusted Name in VPN