Poland 0-1 Nigeria – Super Eagles Player Ratings; Ekong Wins MOTM, Iheanacho, Shehu Abdullahi Lead Flops

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria defeated the senior national team of Poland 1-0 in an international friendly game ‎meant to help both teams fine tune their preparations for the World Cup 2018 in Russia later in the year.

Victor Moses scored the lone goal for Nigeria from the spot in the 61st minute after he was felled in the box. Although Poland had the best of chances the strike by Moses settled the tie in favour of the Nigerians.

Owngoalnigeria.com rates the players on display for Nigeria in the encounter, which is one of the two friendly games lined up by the Nigeria Football Federation for the Super Eagles in the current international window.

Francis Uzoho – Barked out instructions to defenders who are considerably his senior in the team. A sign of his ability to organise his defence, however he struggled to settle down into the game early and his nervy start affected his judgement of balls into the box, and twice in the first half it almost cost Nigeria.

Had a very commanding display in the second half. The highlight of his second half display was a big save off Robert Lewandoski ‎in a one on one situation….. 7/10

Shehu Abdullahi – Looked lost and confused at right back. Provided little depth in attack and was suspect in defending as well, maybe playing as a midfielder for his new Turkish side Bursaspor has affected his usual commanding display in the colours of the Super Eagles….. 4/10

Brian Idowu – Had a solid but far from spectacular display in what was his first start for the Super Eagles. Looked technically assured in terms of helping the defence keep their shape. ‎The only disappointment in his game was his inability to use the ball correctly when in possession….. 6/10

Leon Balogun – A lot has been said about his partnership with William Troost-Ekong, and they once again proved why they are worth all the talks as they complimented each other in keeping Lewandoski quiet. He was as usual calm and assured until he went off injured….. 6.5/10

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William Ekong – Surprisingly wore the captain arm band for the game, and gave a commanding display to justify the arm band. Quick, strong and brave in duels, he has improved a lot in such a short time….. 7.5/10

Wilfred Ndidi – Sat in front of the defence and provided the needed shield to keep the Poles at bay. Still need to work on his ball distribution. His success with tackles was the main highlight of his display. He also filled in at centre back when he needed to….. 7/10

Joel Obi – Assured in possession and willing to put his body on the line for his team. Guilty of playing too many backward and side way ‎passes when a pass upfront would have been better. His ability to spot and sniff out danger helped the Super Eagles for the duration he was on….6.5/10

Kelechi Iheanacho – Known for his ability to score with ease, he started the game in the number ten role on a sound footing but disappeared when his team needed him the most. He could and should have done better despite playing in a different role than his usual forward role…. 4/10

Alex Iwobi – Decent on the ball, and not scared of taking on his man but his final ball lacked the conviction expected of him. Did a lot of defensive job as cover for Idowu and it probably cost him his stamina in the second half as he looked tired….. 5/10

Victor Moses – Many will argue that he deserve to be man of the match, but the Chelsea ace came alive in the second half after a below par first half display. Took his penalty really well but looked like he dived to win the spot kick. Contributed more defensively than in attack especially when Nigeria were defending the lead he gave them….. 7/10

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Odion Ighalo – You can’t fault his industry upfront. Left isolated and devoid of service from the midfielders behind him, he still did enough to keep the defenders of Poland busy….. 6.5/10

Substitutes :

Ahmed Musa – Replaced Alex Iwobi but bar initiating a counter attack in the closing stages of the game, he did nothing meaningful to justify his inclusion…. 4/10

Ogenyi Onazi – Wasted a clear counter attack chance to increase Nigeria’s lead with a wayward pass. Dragged out of position upon his introduction, and that left a gap in the defence of Nigeria. Aside that he was very good in helping Nigeria turned defence into attack….. 5/10

Kenneth Omeruo – Came in for the injured Leon Balogun. Not quite assured in possession and even in tackles. Still has a lot to do if he is to break the “Oyibo Wall” partnership of Balogun and Ekong in central defence….‎. 4.5/10

Tyronne Ebuehi – His positional awareness helped him clear dangerous balls without needing to make desperate tackles. Stabilised the suspect right back spot upon his introduction in place of Abdullahi….. 6/10

John Ogu – Provided cover in midfield with his physical presence and also complimented Onazi and Ndidi following his introduction. Many believed he should have started….. 5/10

Moses Simon – Didn’t do enough to earn a rating due to the minutes he spent on the pitch, as he was introduced in time added on. Will be hoping to get more game time against Serbia

Osas Mahawi