Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets edged past Ecuador 3-2 Tuesday night to progress to the Round of 16 of the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil.

Newslegend.com.ng’s Izuchukwu Okosi  writing for Allnigeriasoccer.com rates the performance of the team.

The Starters

Goalkeeper

Daniel Jinadu : The West Ham United goalkeeper could not do much to stop the first Ecuador goal after Adrian Mejia’s shot which saw the ball hit the post deflected off his back. A good communicator with his defenders. He tipped over the ball brilliantly towards the end of the game for a corner kick. 6/10.

Defenders

Usman Ibrahim : Ibrahim was dispossessed of the ball which led to the first goal scored  by Ecuador but after that howler he had a much better game and even ventured forward a few times to help in search of the much bedded second goal when Nigeria were down 2-1.  7/10.


Ferdinand Ikenna : Ikenna almost put his team in trouble with a poor headed clearance in the second half just before the Ecuadorians scored their second goal. His decision making was questionable albeit he made some timely clearances it must be noted. 6/10.

Charles Etim : The left back had a torrid time stopping the dangerous John Mercado whom he was deemed by the referee to have fouled for the penalty scored by Johan Mina in the second half. However his performance improved just before the end of the match. 5/10.

Midfielders

Samson Tijani : The captain shielded the defence superbly although we did not see much of the defence splitting passes to his game as witnessed on Saturday against Hungary. Nonetheless a great outing and was involved in the build up to Ibrahim Said’s second goal. 7/10.

Monsuru Opeyemi : The resourceful midfielder did not play full time on Tuesday but he showed ball control especially in the 20th minute to meander his way to the Ecuadorians’ box where he was dispossessed of the ball. His performance was full of  hard work but he has to improve on his ball retention. 5.5/10.

Hamzat Ojediran : The midfielder was willing to fall back and help mop out any dangers. He was also a willing runner and almost scored a goal of his own tonight but missed target when he latched onto a through pass from Akinkunmi Amoo. 6/10.

Attackers


Olakunle Olusegun : The speedster troubled Ecuador’s defenders all night but his end product left more to be desired.

The skill is not in doubt; he reminds one of a certain Julius Aghahowa but he has to be more selfless and release better placed teammates when he finds himself in a difficult position. Had a hand in Nigeria’s first goal as his high pressing forced the opposition keeper to make a mistake. 6.5/10.

Ibrahim Said : The star of the game with a hat-trick. The striker’s second and third goals in particular are already contenders for goal of the tournament both brilliant curling efforts that found the top right corner. Powerful and incisive.  9.5/10.

Wisdom Ubani : The top scorer for Nigeria at the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations had a rather poor game by his well known potential. His shots were way wide off target. He did support Charles Etim on the wing a few times but he definitely has to improve. He deserves a better rating after his contributions to the World Cup qualification. 5/10.

The Substitutes

Akinkunmi Amoo : The creative live wire of the team. Nigerians hope he starts in subsequent games. He created over four chances in the second half from which Ibrahim Said scored two from. 8/10.

Ibraheem Jabaar : The other second half substitute. Jabaar brought pace and sense of urgency when he came on and was presented with a scoring opportunity in the second half. 6/10.


 Izuchukwu Okosi