Croatia 2-0 Nigeria : Player Ratings – Top Marks For Balogun, Uzoho, Ighalo Flops


Francis Uzoho : Not at fault for the goals he conceded. Commanded his area very well and showed good composure when he had to. Truly one for the future….. 7 / 10


Shehu Abdullahi : Allowed Ante Rebic too much time and space on the ball in the first half but redeemed himself with a better performance in the second half when he was up against Ivan Perisic….. 6/10

Bryan Idowu : Didn’t look entirely comfortable with the ball at his feet but stuck to his man brilliantly throughout the game. Rebic and Perisic couldn’t swing in crosses from his flanks like they did against Abdullahi on the right….. 6.5/10

William Troost-Ekong – Lost his man for the header that led to the unfortunate own goal scored by Oghenekaro Etebo before inexplicably giving away a penalty by grabbing Mandzukic in the box. A very poor performance from the Bursaspor man….. 4/10

Leon Balogun – Majestic in possession and solid in tackles. His organisation sense helped Nigeria keep their shape at the back. Won a lot of aerial duels. Clearly the best player on the pitch for Nigeria….. 7.5/10

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Wilfred Ndidi – Worked his socks off for the good of the team. Closed down Modric and Rakitic brilliantly. Played to his potential especially in the second half….. 7/10

Mikel Obi – Covered lot of grounds for the Nigerian team and tried to drive them forward but the final pass to prise open the defence of Croatia let him down severally….. 6/10

Oghenekaro Etebo – He was unlucky to have given away the own goal which gave Croatia the lead. Had a very good game afterwards. However he was also guilty of trying to play safe by not driving forward….. 6.5/10

Alex Iwobi – Looked lost on the flanks and didn’t contribute anything meaningful for the time he was on. Maybe he should have played centrally….. 4/10

Victor Moses – ‎Heavily relied upon to produce sparks for Nigeria in the final third but struggled to assert himself properly. Went to ground far too easily, luckily he wasn’t booked for a dive….. 5/10

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Odion Ighalo – Didn’t do enough to justify his starting spot. Looked heavy and was no way a threat for the back line of Croatia….. 4.5/10

Substitutes :

Ahmed Musa – Put up a very good shift in defence but that wasn’t why he was brought on. Struggled to carve out any opening in the final third. A poor display from the Leicester City man…..4/10

Kelechi Iheanacho – A very lively cameo. Held his own against the physically imposing back line of Croatia and did more than what Ighalo did despite spending just 15 minutes on the pitch….. 5.5/10

Simy Nwankwo – Didn’t get involved enough to earn a rating.

Michael James