Nigeria 0-2 South Africa : Players Ratings – Akpeyi, Iwobi & Onazi Top Flops, Ndidi Disappoints


The Super Eagles of Nigeria suffered a shock 0-2 loss to South Africa in their first AFCON 2019 Qualifiers played at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.

Loading... Osas Mahawi rates the players on display for the Super Eagles in the game that handed South Africa their first win over Nigeria, and also first defeat for Franco-German coach Gernot Rohr.


Daniel Akpeyi – Looked jittery all through the game, failed to organise his defence in the build up to the goals Nigeria conceded. Badly position and wrong footed for the first goal scored by South Africa. Also failed to take one for his team when he was badly exposed by his defenders. Still it was his duty to arrange them for his own protection…..2/10

Shehu Abdullahi – Had a decent first 45 minutes, got involved in the early exchanges but his poor positioning allowed his marker get behind him at will. Had a very poor second half…..2.5/10

Elderson Echiejile – Did nothing spectacular during the course of the game. Didn’t defend, didn’t attack and failed to cut out the cross that lead to the opener by South Africa. The most experienced defender on the pitch for Nigeria but did nothing to show his experience…..2/10

Chidozie Awaziem – Coped well with Rantie in the first half, but lost his man for the opener as he was guilty of ball watching. Lucky not to have conceded a penalty and didn’t appear to be entirely confident playing with William Troost-Ekong…..3/10

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Will‎iam Troost-Ekong – No where near his best. Worst display for Nigeria since making his debut, failed to stay on same wavelength with Awaziem and looked shaky and lacking in confidence. Truly missed Leon Balogun…..2/10

Ogenyi Onazi – The deepest of Nigeria’s midfield trio but was mostly caught high up the pitch. Badly exposed his defence, and missed what was Nigeria’s best chance of the first half. Lasted the entire duration of the game probably because he was captain in the absence of Mikel…..1.5/10

Wilfred Ndidi – No way near his best playing in what can be termed an unfamiliar role and struggled to cope with the demands of playing further up the pitch. Couldn’t connect with any of his over the top passes. A very poor game by his standards…..3/10

Oghenekaro Etebo – Looked ordinary without Mikel with him in the middle. Failed to assert himself and got barged off the ball easily despite his bright start to the game. Wasted a clear chance to put Nigeria ahead in the first half…..2/10

Alex Iwobi– Had another poor game in the jersey of the Super Eagles. A passenger for the duration he was on the pitch. Obviously can do better but not on this occasion . A very poor display from the Arsenal man….1/10

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Moses Simon – Full of energy, confident and drive. Took on his man and was lively but decision making let him down as his balls into the box were either underhit or overhit. Still Nigeria’s best player on the night…..4/10

Kelechi Iheanacho – Played as a lone forward leaving him with so much work to do especially as those playing behind him didn’t do enough to move the ball to him quickly. Another top player who failed to justify his tag…..2/10

Substitutes :

Olarewaju Kayode – Lively for the duration he spent on the pitch. Used his pace to trouble the defence of South Africa but came on at a time when Nigeria were struggling to get going…..2/10

Ahmed Musa – No doubt the South Africans know all about his pace hence they double up on him. His long throw -ins were not properly utilised and should have done better with the ball at his feet…..1.5/10

Victor Osimhen – Didn’t do enough to earn a rating.

Osas Mahawi