Nigeria Player Ratings: Iheanacho flourishes against Egypt in Afcon opener
After the ties on Tuesday, GOAL.com assess every Super Eagle that played in the win over the North Africans in Garoua. infoguidenigeria
Maduka Okoye (6.5/10)
After an idle first half, Okoye stuck out a boot to deny Mohamed Salah a potential equaliser with 20 minutes to play with a match-winning save.
William Troost-Ekong (5.5/10)
The centre-back was protected and rarely exposed but a failure to push up for Egypt’s biggest chance of the game could have cost the West Africans.
Kenneth Omeruo (7/10)
While the 28-year old defender caught the ball watching for Salah’s big chance, he broadly flourished on his return to the Super Eagles XI, winning the majority of his tussles until being stretchered off with 10 minutes to play.
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Ola Aina (7.5/10)
The Torino wide defender won nine duels and ranked higher than anyone on the pitch for volume of tackles. Was unlucky his lung-busting run after half-time did not result in a second goal for the winning side. jamb result
Zaidu Sanusi (6/10)
Sanusi could have done better on the few occasions he found himself in promising positions in the attacking third.
Wilfred Ndidi (7/10)
Blocked passing lanes and nipped in to regain possession in the middle of the park from time to time.
Joe Aribo (7/10)
Played alongside Ndidi without the ball but took up menacing positions when the Nigerians had good possession. Set up Kelechi Iheanacho’s winner and could have had two assists had Moses Simon scored early on.
Samuel Chukwueze (6/10)
Augustine Eguavoen’s approach meant the Villarreal wide attacker played second-fiddle to Simon.
Moses Simon (7/10)
While Simon’s final ball remains erratic, he was a beneficiary of Eguavoen’s trust in Garoua.
The Nantes attacker was menacing for the entirety of the game with his direct running and aggressive ball carrying and it was no surprise the game’s only goal originated from the much-maligned winger.
Kelechi Iheanacho (7/10)
His touch was heavy following that ambitious Aina run and he had another flash wide moments later, but a brilliant strike from the Leicester City frontman was typical of the marksman. Combined well with Awoniyi especially in the first half.
Taiwo Awoniyi (6.5/10)
The Union Berlin forward may have been denied by Mohammed El Shenawy from a tight angle, but he led the line effectively nonetheless, showing promise for a potent partnership with Iheanacho.
Chidera Ejuke (6/10)
Ejuke’s threat is undeniable and he could have added to the West Africans’ advantage after replacing Chukwueze with 18 minutes to play.
Umar Sadiq (5.5/10)
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