Two wrong offside calls was the saving grace for South Africa as they force Nigeria into a 1-1 draw in their penultimate AFCON 2019 Qualifiers, which sealed Nigeria’s passage to the tournament.
Ahmed Musa was wrongly flagged offside in the early exchanges just when he was through on goal but minutes later, the Super Eagles deservedly took the lead via an own goal after a Samuel Kalu cross was turned into his own net.
Owngoalnigeria.com rates the players on parade for Nigeria.
Ikechukwu Ezenwa – Didn’t look entirely comfortable in goal and his handling was suspect when he had to but overall did okay. Wasn’t at fault for the goal scored by South Africa…. 7/10
Leon Balogun – Probably the weak link among the three centre backs in the first half. Drifted to act as cover in the centre of defence and that gave South Africa room to run riot via his flank. Improved in the second half and played a part in Nigeria’s improved display in the second half….. 6/10
Kenneth Omeruo – He will love to forget his display in the first half. Couldn’t keep up with Percy Tau and was beaten by a single drop of the shoulder by Tau. Did very well in the second half but wasted a clear chance from a header to put Nigeria 2-1 up…. 6.5 / 10
William Troost-Ekong – Like Omeruo was beaten by a single skill from Tau in the build up to the first goal scored by South Africa. Didn’t look comfortable playing in a back three. Did okay just like the rest of the back three in the second half….. 6/10
Jamilu Collins – Bombed forward nicely but fail to understand his role in defending until late into the first half. Made himself available for a pass and that helped him to get more involved in the fir Nigeria down the left…. 7/10
Samuel Kalu – Forced the own goal which gave Nigeria the lead and at the other end produced a fantastic tackle to deny South Africa an immediate response. Guilty of making some poor decision although he still rank among the best player on display for the Super Eagles….. 7.5/10
John Ogu – Decent in possession but didn’t screen the back three properly and to an extent allowed Tau to much room to operate. Didn’t look quite comfortable in tandem with Oghenekaro Etebo in midfield. Came to live in the second half and won more tackles than any other Nigerian player….. 7.5/10
Oghenekaro Etebo – Appeared lost operating with Ogu in the middle and it showed in his game. Wasn’t quite the same player who dominated midfield duels at the World Cup in Russia. Should have done more….. 6/10
Kelechi Iheanacho – By far the worst player on the pitch for Nigeria in the first half. His heavy touch denied him the chance to give Nigeria the lead before the half time break. A very poor display by his standard….. 5/10
Ahmed Musa – The liveliest forward on the pitch for Nigeria. Full of energy and as usual too quick for his markers, however his impact was drastically reduced as he had to feed on loose balls instead of incisive passes….. 8/10
Alex Iwobi – Well known to the South Africans hence they were quick to close him down once he is on the ball. Still showed his vision with nice passes although he was guilty of giving the ball away in dangerous positions….. 6.5/10
Isaac Success – Showed his presence with his physical presence but wasn’t mobile enough to trouble the defence of South Africa….. 5/10
Henry Onyekuru – Didn’t get involved enough to earn a rating.
Semi Ajayi – Made one vital interception to deny South Africa a late chance from a counter with a smart tackle. However he didn’t last enough on the pitch to command a rating.