Nigeria progressed through the semi-final of the African Nations Championship after coming from behind to claim a 2-1 extra time win over Angola in the quarter final.
Owngoalnigeria.com Osas Mahawi rates the players on display for Nigeria in the game, where Anthony Okpotu and Gabriel Okechukwu got the goals for Nigeria after Va gave Angola the lead ten minutes into the second half.
Ikechukwu Ezenwa : The man of the match for Nigeria. Unlucky to have conceded over a wicked deflection but after that kept Nigeria in the game with five point blank save, and also claimed crosses with ease. A remarkable improvement in his game as he use to flap at crosses before now….. 9/10
Osas Okoro : Lively as ever . He was strong in tackles and also joined the attack when he needed to with his crosses from his overlapping runs from behind causing the Angolans are manners of troubles….. 7/10
Ikouwem Udoh : Didn’t look lost in what was his first start of the tournament. Full of energy, drive and very confident on the ball. Matched his defence job with surging runs to join the attack, which helped the Eagles to pin Angola to their half….. 8.5/10
Kalu Orji – Got injured early into the game, and clear to see how bad his regular central defence partner Stephen Eze missed him during the course of the game. Looked to be out for some time….. 4/10
Stephen Eze – Once again showed why he is the back bone of this team. Cleared everything in his way and most alarming is the way he uses his legs. A remarkable improvement from same Eze who couldn’t control the ball few years ago….. 8.5/10
Emeka Atuloma – Won almost every tackle he attempted, which helped the Eagles to break up the threat of Angola going forward. Dovetailed nicely with Dayo Ojo in the midfield, although he didn’t go forward enough to get into goal scoring positions even when Angola sat deep in their half….. 6/10
Dayo Ojo – Showed good strength in duels, got on the ball lot of times and was eager to drive the team forward. Also put in a shift defensively when needed….. 7/10
Rabiu Ali – Looked out of sort without the ball, but tried to use the ball wisely when in possession. Made two late runs into the box but failed to direct his effort on target. His experience was key to the Eagles clawing their back into the game. His headed pass lead to Nigeria’s equaliser which dragged the game into extra time….. 7.5/10
Emeka Ogbugh – Ran himself ragged for the team, covered lot of ground especially in the first half when the Eagles struggled to get their act together. Still a bit short in terms of ball usage in the final stage…. 6/10
Sunday Faleye – Looked uninterested and flat even when in possession. Failed to live up to his past performance in the championship but he is only 19 years, meaning he will learn to boss games like this in the future….. 5/10
Tony Okpotu – Excellent in holding up play and bringing others into play. Did well to time his run to perfection for Nigeria’s equaliser but could have buried the game long before Angola scored their first goal. Still the surest route to goal for the Salisu Yusuf tutored side….. 8.5/10
Timothy Danladi – Took a while to settle down after coming on for the injured Orji. Looked quite nervy, which lead to the goal scored by Angola as his decision to clear the ball straight at Angolan striker Va, instead of sideways lead to the deflection that landed in the net of Nigeria for the opening goal of the game….. 6/10
Austin Oladapo – Added urgency to the Eagles style of play but his final balls let him down when he got into promising positions. Still did enough to help the Eagles win the tie with neat and well hit passes which stretched Angola….. 6/10
Gabriel Okechukwu – Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Looked lively all through and got into goal scoring position with ease. Wasted two clear cut chances but still scored the winner for Nigeria in extra time….. 7/10