Corsica 1-1 Nigeria – Players Ratings; Onyekuru Disappoints, Etebo MOTM, Mu’azam Shines, Odey Impresses

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‎The Super Eagles of Nigeria forced the French Island of Corsica to a 1-1 draw in a friendly meant to prepare the Nigerian team for their upcoming AFCON 2019 Qualifiers against South Africa next month.

Owngo‎alnigeria.com foreign correspondent Michael James was at the Stade François Coty in Ajaccio where the game was played, and rates the Nigerian players on parade.

Ikechukwu Ezenwa – Didn’t have much to do during the course of the game dominated by Nigeria, and could do nothing about the goal scored by Corsica via the spot. Looked calm and commanding especially in dealing with crosses into the box…..6.5/10

Tyronne Ebuehi – The Dutch-Nigerian full back had a rude introduction to international football, giving away a penalty very early into his first game for Nigeria, but he recovered brilliantly from the set back, particularly in the second half but he still need to work on his marking abilities….6/10

Elderson Echiejile – His experience was very clear to see, strong and very smart in tackles, not the quickest but wasn’t beaten for pace. His forays upfront also helped the Eagles in attack in the second half. A fine display from the stand in captain….. 7/10

Chidozie Awaziem – Awaziem proved why he is so highly rated by Portuguese side FC Porto with an almost flawless display in his first game for Nigeria. Quick, very strong in the air and in duels. His ball playing abilities was also another area which caught out attention….. 7/10

William TroostEkong – Was his usual self, full of energy, running and commitment. Loves to take a tackle for his team, always willing to put his body where it hurts. Dovetailed nicely with Awaziem in the heart of Nigeria defence as Corsica failed to mount any serious challenge….. 7/10

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Mikel Agu – Quick in turning defence into attack with forward passes. He had a very commanding game in the middle for Nigeria. Covered lot of grounds, the only major drawback was his unwillingness to join the attack even when Corsica sit back to defend….. 7/10

Oghenekaro Etebo – Can easily pass as the man of the match. Clearly the best player on the pitch for both teams. Strong, quick and incisive, he was too good for the Corsica defence. Brought down for the penalty converted by Iheanacho which. drew Nigeria level….. 8.5/10

Alhassan Ibrahim – Mu’azam as he is fondly called was one of the best players for Nigeria in the first half, and twice came close to scoring with one of his efforts bringing out a parried safe from the goalkeeper of Corsica. Headed wide when he should have done better in a promising position. Tired out in the second half….. 7/10

Ahmed Musa – Failed to connect a spilled ball by the goalkeeper of Corsica after a well hit drive for Mu’azam, but overall was too much for the left back of Corsica to handle. Musa’s raw pace and quick feet helped Nigeria win fouls and his unselfish play was wasted by Onyekuru who failed to connect with the goalkeeper at his mercy….. 8/10

Kelechi Iheanacho – The Manchester City man brought out a fine save from the Corsica shot stopper from what looked like a half chance. Didn’t quite imposed himself in the first half, but was very lively in the second half, had a hand in the move that lead to the penalty for Nigeria, which he converted to maintain his fine scoring record for Nigeria….. 7/10

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Henry Onyekuru – Looked lost and tensed. Missed a sitter which could have drawn Nigeria level shortly after they went behind. Took up goal scoring positions but wasn’t clinical enough to convert them. Presently highly sort after by top clubs in Europe after his 24 goals haul for Eupen, Onyekuru had a debut he won’t want to remember in a hurry….. 6/10

Substitutes –

Stephen Odey – The top scorer in the Nigeria Premier League took the game by the scruff of it’s neck after coming on for Nigeria. Eager to shot at goal and had an effort on target. Link up play was also brilliant particularly with his back to goal…… 6.5/ 10

Shehu Abdullahi – Picked up a yellow card for foul play but overall helped stabilised the defence of Nigeria, showed commitment and a willingness to get into duels for his team….. 6/10

Uche Agbo – Helped sprayed the ball around nicely, his range of passes gave the Eagles attackers a lot to feed on. Not quick but takes up good positions which nullified any potential danger posed by Corsica on the break…..5.5/10

Sikiru Olatubosun – Tried to bring his positive energy when he came on, but didn’t have enough time to settle into the game. Nice touches though few times he got the ball….. 5/10

Michael James