Odion Ighalo’s early goal on Wednesday evening was enough for three time African champions Nigeria to win the third place final between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and Carthage Eagles in the playoff final of Egypt 2019.
How did Gernot Rohr’s team perform? Izuchukwu Okosi provides the answers.

The Starters

Goalkeeper

Francis Uzoho : Uzoho was handed his AFCON debut and he performed creditably well, dealing with crosses very well albeit his ball distribution was questionable. More confident compared to Akpeyi. 7/10.
Defenders 

Ola Aina : Played in place of Chidozie Awaziem who was suspended due to the yellow card he picked up against Algeria  in the semifinals. Was adventurous, creating chances with crosses but equally did his defensive duties well. 6.5/10.

Jamilu Collins : The left back’s cross into the Tunisian box led to Odion Ighalo’s early goal. Lively both in defence and supporting the attack. Collins however had few torrid times dealing with wily Wabhi Khazri. 7/10.

Kenneth Omeruo : Made some vital clearances  and blocks which helped in dealing with dangerous situations on the evening. 8/10.

William Troost-Ekong : The Udinese defender took no prisoners and dealt with the burly Tunisian forwards especially  in the aerial duels. He  also made good blocks and clearances. 7/10.

Midfielders

Wilfrid Ndidi : Was yellow carded and seemingly played cautiously afterwards. His central midfield partnership with Oghenakaro Etebo was one of the bright sparks of Nigeria’s participation in Egypt. 6/10.
 

Oghenakaro Etebo : Was solid in midfield and never  gave the dangerous Tunisian players a sniff in midfield. However while his battling midfield efforts was commendable, his free kicks were literally back passes to Tunisian keeper Moez Ben Chrifia. 7/10.

Alex Iwobi : The Arsenal forward continued in his playmaking role and had a mixed game. At some point, his passes were faulty and other times he wowed the fans with his nimble foot work. 6/10.
Strikers 

Ahmed Musa : Since the quarterfinals win over South Africa  Musa’s performance in Egypt has plummeted. The end product was found wanting. He was helpful at times in defence. 5.5/10.

Samuel Chukwueze : The Villarreal  winger started on the right side to cut infield and attempt a shot on goal. This was not one of his best performances in Egypt but still worthy of commendation. 6/10.

Odion Ighalo : Scored the only goal of the dour game and went off injured towards the half time break. The goal poacher had five goals in the tournament – would have wanted  more though. 7.5/10.

The Substitutes

Victor Osimhen : The striker was put in the firing line as replacement for Ighalo but Osimhen did not produce the kind of performance those hoping he plays more had hoped for. 4/10.

Moses Simon : Simon has defensive qualities in addition to his attacking play which makes him an easy choice for Rohr. He did go past his markers a few times but delivered poor crosses. 5/10.

Samuel Kalu : The Bordeaux winger delivered two fantastic free kicks when he came on towards the end of the match. The Tunisian keeper Moez Ben Chrifia saved on both occasions. 7/10.
Izuchukwu Okosi 

Photo Credit : cafonline.com