Super Eagles’ Rating Player-By-Player In Defeat To Algeria

Super Eagles’ Rating Player-By-Player In Defeat To Algeria

Following the Super Eagles 1-0 loss to the Desert Foxes of Algeria in Friday’s friendly encounter, Completesports.com’s ADEBOYE AMOSU appraises the performance of the players…

Maduka OKOYE 8/10

Made four excellent saves in the game. Proved he is ready for the big stage and prevented the Super Eagles from suffering an humiliating defeat.

Tyronne EBUEHI 6/10

A solid performance from the right-back. Had a torrid time coping with the pace and trickery of Said Benrahma, but did a good job of stopping the Algerian.

Leon BALOGUN 7/10

He was up to the challenge of the Algerians. Mase occasional forays for the Super Eagles upfront and performed his task dutifully.

William TROOST-EKONG 6/10

Looked a bit rusty in the first half, but picked up after the break. Made a last ditch clearance to prevent the Algerians from scoring another goal in the second half.

Zaidu SANUSI 7/10

A superb debut from the FC Porto left-back. Sanusi kept Algeria captain Riyad Mahrez at bay and made incursions upfront.

Also Read: Algeria Edge Super Eagles In International Friendly

Semi AJAYI 5/10

Failed to make much impact in the first half but improved a bit after the break. Difficult to see him thrive in the defensive midfield position for the Super Eagles.

Frank ONYEKA 5/10

A tough debut for the FC Midtjylland of Denmark midfielder. He was duly replaced at half-time by Mikel Agu.

Alex IWOBI 7/10

Iwobi was one of Nigeria’s best performers in the game. He pulled the strings in midfield for the Super Eagles and was unlucky not to get a goal in the first half.

Samuel CHUKWUEZE 5/10

Guilty of playing to the gallery at times. Started the game brightly but fizzled out afterwards.

Samuel KALU 5/10

Made a little impact in the game and was replaced by Moses Simon early in the second half after sustaining an injury .

Paul ONUACHU 4/10

Struggled to get going in the game. Failed to replicate his club form on the international scene for the Super Eagles


Mikel AGU 5/10

His introduction helped solidify the Super Eagles’ midfield. Made a good impression on his return to the team.

Moses SIMON 4/10

Did little to affect the game positively following his introduction for Samuel Kalu early in the second half.

Kelechi IHEANACHO 4/10

Looked sharp and hungry after taking the place of Paul Onuachu but couldn’t do much to help the Super Eagles avoid defeat.

Kevin AKPOGUMA 4/10

The debutant took the place of Tyronne Ebuehi. He made a vital interception late in the game and was also good going forward.

Ahmed MUSA 4/10

Spent 14 minutes on the pitch and failed to help change things in favour of the Super Eagles.


Played only a cameo role, hence not rated. Took the place of Alex Iwobi in stoppage time.

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  • Mr. Rater..
    I beg go and change your TV or your expired eye lenses..
    Okoye: 7, Ebuehi:9, Ekong :3, Balogun:8, Ajayi;7, Sanusi:8, Onyeka:3, Iwobi:7, Kalu:3, Chukwueze:4, Onwuachi:4, Tijani:5, Moses:6, Agu:3, Musa:2, Akpoguma:4,Iheanacho:4..

    Ekong, Onyeka, Kalu, Chukwueze and Onwuachi didn’t show up..

  • They didn’t want to get injured as 5hey know that Nigeria NFF will abandon then. What will you do if you were on the field. This is just friendly. Let the real thing come you will see the real Eagles.

  • Nigeria’s Super Eagles handed the bragging rights to the Desert Foxes of Algeria after going down to lame 1:0 defeat in a friendly match on the 9th of October.

    The result would not have gone down well with a section of the Super Eagles fans who were looking forward to a competent cabaret of excitement to justify the tsunami of hype that has trailed Nigeria-eligible players in weeks leading up to this encounter.

    The disappointing result (as some fans would see it; others would disagree) to one side, how – in my view – did the players perform in this rather underwhelming encounter?

    Here are my player ratings:


    1) Maduka Okoye (6.5/10) – The Sparta Rotterdam man didn’t seem fazed in his first start for the Super Eagles, Perhaps his response could have been a tad sharper in the build up to Algeria’s goal. That aside, his camera-friendly dive to parry away a ruthless goal-bound free-kick in the first half was noteworthy. He kept diving in anticipation when some shots went off the mark which spoke to how alert he was.

    Okoye could not be seen barking instructions to his defenders like Uzoho however the understanding seemed to be there as he timed his movements well enough to avoid some embarrassing moments. His distribution appears to be an area that he can improve upon.

    All in all, Okoye looked an image of calm and seemed ready to rise up to the challenge. He would not have been disappointed in his performance even though he was not tested as much as he could have been on another day.


    2) Tyronne Ebuehi (6.5/10) – Ebuehi did the best he could under the circumstances to release the ball and make things happen whilst been harassed constantly by a number of Algeria players. Defensively he was pretty decent with his markings as he stood his ground to prevent the Algerians from perforating his area more so as they picked his side to launch wave after wave of attacks earlier on.

    The former Benfica man was beaten at times on 1-on-1 scenario but his recovery rate was commendable, He did his best to force the issue for the Super Eagles up front with his incursions into Algeria’s delicate areas. His end-product in the way of crosses and passes could be better but injuries could be blamed for his mild rustiness in these area.

    In all, Ebuehi had a performance that hasn’t done his Super Eagles chances any harm whatsoever. He can only hope to build on this in coming months.

    3) Sanusi Zaidu (7.5/10) – This is how to make an indelible first impression! The Rocket-man as he is known put up a performance worthy of his moniker as he bombed up and down the pitch with lightening speed and positive aggression that went someway in making his part of the pitch a sort of fortress.

    Sanusi’s communication with Kalu was A1! He latched on with blinding speed to a delicious through ball from Kalu in the first half to deliver a ground cross that could have caused problems. One fine cross to Onuachu caught the eye whilst his constant pressing up the pitch helped to keep the Algerians at bay.

    The Porto man has won many hearts and minds with both the offensive and defensive facets of his game today. At this rate, it is difficult to see Idowu or Collins wrestling the starting left full back shirt off this speedster.


    4) Leon Balogun (7.5/10) – A very dependable centre defender if ever you have seen one. Balogun lost his way for Nigeria just before the covid lockdown however he has emphatically retraced his steps and how!

    Time and time again, Balogun bailed out his fellow defenders in this match after errors that could have been ruthlessly exploited by the Algerians. He was as neat as ironed garment with his tackles and composed in his interceptions. At times, he took the game by the scruff of the neck by driving the ball up the pitch to try to instigate goal scoring manoeuvres.

    As with any defender there were times he could have done better. But on the whole, Balogun was solid today. With this sort of performance, it will be difficult to see him drop to the bench in coming matches.

    5) William Troost-Ekong (6/10) – Uncharacteristically, the Watford man had a game marred by a few jittery and unconvincing moments. The veteran defender used to be one to command his area but he seemed to outsource that responsibility to his twin-wall Balogun in this match.

    Ekong was expected to organise his area during the corner kick that led to Algeria’s goal but it was a shock to see Nigeria go down to a routine that Gernot Rohr seems incapable of making Ekong and co, rise up (quite literally) to the occasion. Ekong was surprisingly physical in his approach to tackles which would have made Pastor Taribo West very proud. But, with such physical orientation to his play, is Ekong becoming a more polished defender?

    In all, just like his teammates, Ekong grew into the match as time wore on but I don’t think he has done his automatic starting 11 slot any good with such an indifferent display.


    6) Semi Ajayi (5.5/10) – Not a lot of Super Eagles supporters will lose a sleep if Ajayi never plays as a defensive midfielder for Nigeria because he struggled to despatch the role with a unique identity. That does not necessarily means he had a poor game but just to say that he didn’t stamp his authority in that area in a way that made an appreciable impact.

    There were some beautiful moments though, for example, when his good movement, fancy footwork and competent pass helped to ward off pressure from surrounding Algerian players whilst helping Nigeria retain possession. Vision to pick out deadly passes from deep and help dictate play from his area seemed sorely lacking. His approach to winning the ball back was decent enough but didn’t generate any wow moments.

    Overall, Ajayi performed his defensive midfield role much better in the second half but he will have to add some gloss to his play to shine through in that position.

    7)Frank Onyeka (5/10) – It is hard to pick out any eye catching moments from the 22 year old midfielder whose energy levels were inadequate to match the firepower of the Algerians in the first half. With Nigeria struggling to impose our will on the Algerians, we needed midfielders willing to take the battle to them but Onyeka offered no such threat.

    In the lead up to Algeria’s goal, the ball cannoned off Onyeka who many would have expected to throw himself about – regardless of whether the Algerians scored. He seemed not too sure of what to do.

    Onyeka did not impose himself on this match as he would have loved. He worked as hard as he could and gave a spirited performance but more was understandably expected.

    8) Alex Iwobi (8/10) – What a player! Iwobi was ubiquitous in his play popping up everywhere in an attempt to make things happen on a night when he hard work was not rewarded with a positive result for the Super Eagles.

    Unlike many of his teammates, Iwobi was able to wriggle his way out of the tight gang-markings of the Algerians to still deliver delicious short range passes. His finesse long range shot went just wide whilst he won possession back for the Super Eagles in efforts aimed at instigating goal-scoring initiatives.

    For endeavour and all round defensive and offensive play, Iwobi remains a key player for the Super Eagles based on his performance tonight.


    9) Samuel Chukwueze (5.5/10) – Perhaps it is not such a good idea to start Chukwueze against Algerians because they know how to cage him well. A major aspect of the Algerian game plan was to curtail Nigeria from the flanks. This they do alarmingly successfully by doubling up on Chukwueze. The Villarreal man struggled to shrug off the attention from the Algerians leading to Nigeria’s attacking initiatives breaking down time and time again.

    Chukwueze can be commended for his persistency and perseverance in wanting to make things happen. He tried to drive into delicate areas and he learnt to release his ball early as the game wore on so as to try to break the Algerians down.

    His set pieces remain ineffectual.

    But as one of Nigeria’s main forwards, I didn’t see many efforts on goal or many potential assists or pre-assists. In truth, it is fair to say that the Algerians had the measure of Chukwueze and this is worrying for Nigeria.

    10) Samuel Kalu (6/10) – He gets a lot of praise for his pristine communication with Zaidu Sanusi. At some point, you will think they have been playing together for many seasons as their interactions were near telepathic at times.

    Kalu was solid in his defensive duties but was way too predictable going forward. His efforts on goal were harmless whilst his take-ons did not achieve the desired effect in so far as cracking open Algeria’s defensive wall. Always willing to come back to his right, Kalu’s trickery on the night caused the Algerians negligible harm.

    Perhaps Kalu should only start from the right or he should start from the bench. On account of his performance today, the Bordeaux man should be ready for stiff competition for the flanks in the Super Eagles in coming months.

    Centre Forward:

    11)Paul Onuachu (4.5/10) – It will be easy to pour out a bucket load of criticisms on the Genk centre forward but in truth, he was partly a victim of Nigeria’s inability to dictate the tempo of the game for long periods. Onuachu did his fair share of running, closing down and interplay of passes but his inability to carve out an on-the-pitch niche for himself in Nigeria colours sadly came to the fore here again.

    Onuachu used his build to force a corner kick off a delightful cross from Sanusi at some point but he was found wanting when attempting to trap the ball. For a big lad, perhaps more give-and-goes or brisk passes to those around him might work. But he lost possession often and seemed not to be on the same wavelength with Iwobi (and others around him) at times.

    As the main centre forward, it doesn’t look good that Onuachu didn’t pepper Algerian goal for any meaningful period.

    In matches where Nigeria dominates play, Onuachu might be more effective, this was not such a match!


    1) Mikel Agu (5.5/10): The Vitória de Guimarães midfielder came and got stuck in. He gave away a needless free-kick in such a dangerous area that could have gifted the Algerians a second goal. He was a willing tackler and seemed determined to thwart the attacking initiatives of the Algerians before they develop into anything more sinister.

    But, in an era where Super Eagles fans are yearning for flair players, Mikel Agu’s game was pretty basic, but decent nonetheless. He was positive with some of his passes as he attempted to move the ball forward rather than sideways.

    2)Moses Simon (5.5/10): The Super Eagles needed something different; a game changer was needed but Moses Simon only fitted into what was (in truth) a team punching below its weight. Nigeria needed a lift but Moses did not supply this.

    However, he was full of running and tried to deliver some crosses. His interaction with Iwobi held much promise but they struggle to crack open the defensive shell of the Algerians. Most of his movements were read and it is safe to say he was tamed by the Algerians. Simon still showed endeavour and put in a decent shift.

    3)Kevin Akpoguma (5.5/10): The Super Eagles debutant was a bit unorthodox with his marking and tackles at times and played uncomfortably in the right fullback position. He showed 0 aptitude to forward runs as he seems more at home performing the defensive aspects of the role.

    In that aspect, he cut a figure of Thou-shall-not-pass which suggests to me that he will be a very solid centre back.

    4) Ahmed Musa (5.5/10): The Saudi based winger tried to latch on to through balls but the Algerians wrestled the ball off him several times. He seemed eager to help drag his team back into the match with quick passes and runs into dangerous areas. But Musa was very well curbed by the opposition.

    5) Kelechi Iheanacho (5.5/10): The Leicester City man needed more time on the pitch for what he was trying to do to click into fruition. Iheanacho tried to create space for himself in and around the Algerian 18 yard box where he can explore a number of possibilities. These would have included bringing others into the game, dragging the Algerian defence out of position, initiating a deadly 1-2 passing routine or unleashing a fearsome shot.

    But he ran out of time before his plots and ploys could click into place.

    6) Samson Tijani (5/10): He came in and got stuck into the thick of the game. He could not do enough to help Nigeria avoid another defeat to Algeria.

  • Proudly 9ja 10 months ago

    Great write up as always Deo, Iwobi balled today, he was shooting which I loved, he still needs to keep shooting and add some accuracy, the guy will score goals both for 9ja and Everton. The guy thrives if he has attackers who make runs so he can thread those incisive passes. Onuachu truly didnt ake those kinds of runs to space. See Osimen always running to space as he knows if he is open Iwobi and other midfielders will feed him. I know it’s not Onuachu’s style of play but him no push those algerians defenders at all. If u watch how osimen dey harass defenders as if dem steal him moni, those Algerian defenders chop onuachu lunch and him just as isokay.

    People placing huge expectations on the SE like worldcup semi final berth or AFCON title proper, though good intentions need to be practical. Belgium, France, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Spain, etc are all ahead of us in any comparison we wan use. They all have a better chance than us but you dont hear them saying semi final target as they know it’s one game at a time. We need to face reality, other than osimen wen dey Napoli, which other 9ja player dey any better team. We get average players playing for average teams if we are to be honest with ourselves. Not saying we can’t achieve the senior final berth as soccer no be 1+1=2, on a good day an underdog can beat a superior team but the chances are still very low.

    Why do we keep conceding from set pieces, I thought this was one area that GR wanted to address almost 2yrs now, I tot this was something of the past. Okere did himself a whole lot of good but I think he should have done a better job of communicating with Onyeka to take the algerian player who was blocking okoye away thereby either given okoye room to come collect the corner kick or even as the algerian guy headed the ball, if onyeka had taken the Algerian player away okoye would have had a clear sight of the header and would’ve easily caught the header.

    GR needs to take lessons from today’s game and better communication from the goalie and the rest of the team is needed.

    Kudos Deo

    • Dr. Drey 10 months ago

      Eish…..All I can say is that may your fountain of wisdom never run dry.
      People who claim to play football at the highest level will come and tell you you dont know football now. They will come and tell you about one phantom “spacious football” that doesnt exist anywhere in any football coaching encyclopedia. In this era of high pressing (or gengenpressing as Jurgen klopp typifies it) your centre forward is you biggest weapon when you are not with the ball….your description of “….harass defenders as if dem steal him moni…” is very apt. Onuachu tonight was a “…collect in moni, slap am, but e still dey look…” type of value offering. Several times Iwobi will be approaching with the ball, onuachu go go sandwich himself for between the 2 centre backs like hot-dog. Onuachu played as if e nor follow this same team go afcon…as if this was his first match in the SE. The less said the better. We will get to see Dessers on Tuesday and then we will see how a 2020 era CF operates.

      Clearly, there are a lot of lessons to be learnt in today’s match…..but i have always said it, we should stop over rating ourselves. WC semifinals ko….Copa America finals ni. Go and check all the teams that has competed in the last 5 WC semifinals….majority of them play consistently in the quarter and semifinal stages of the Uefa champions league. Until our players start playing at that level, even Klopp nor fit carry us reach there. The Chukwueze we called x-factor is the one that has been pocketed by the same bensabaili back-to-back now, So is it the left backs of Germnay, France, Belgium and the rest that will not send him on errand at the world cup..? When people get drunk of their foolery, they take things to another level by claiming we have the best players in Africa….na only us get players wey dey play for Europe.

      It is nice we played Algeria today and I love the result. It will bring us back down to earth and help us re-focus and tighten our belts for the tasks ahead. No more play as from Tuesday on…..the real hard work begins tomorrow. AFCON 2021 is a task that must be achieved.

      • JimmyBall 10 months ago

        Rohr is not a coach. He has nothing to offer this group of talented players we have… This same way SE played today was exactly how they played against England, Serbia, Poland, Croatia in 2018. A coach who is always playing people out of position… Is it not idiotic to bring in Akpoguma and play him at right full back? Ekong as usual.. always jittery and shaky.

        • Dr. Drey 10 months ago

          So how did we play against Argentina, Iceland, Cameroon, South Africa Tunisia, Ukraine, Brazil etc. You were the one that coached the SE in those matches abi….LMAO. As you play ball for highest level reach, and with all you so-called non existent understanding of football, you didnt realize Akpoguma for Ebuehi was a tactical switch to a back 3 to allow Collins move into the LM position and try to push forward more, since mahrez had been pulled out. You really sabi football well well…LMAO

        • Victor 10 months ago

          Ekong, since his inception as a super eagles defender, has been the bedrock of our shaky defense.

    • [email protected], you too nice o!
      No 3.5 even 2.5 at all. Good ratings though.

  • I don’t like this result. Am angry 

  • pompei 10 months ago

    Yes, there are some things I am not happy about regarding this game. Most of these issues have been addressed at length already. However, there is one thing I am very happy about. Rohr and the team did not succumb to the temptation to launch men forward in search of the equalizer after we conceded early. They kept it tight at the back, and patiently waited for opportunities. Granted, the opportunities were not taken, and we lost the game. But 1-nil is always better than 5 nil, which could easily have happened if we threw all caution to the winds. Algeria would have picked us apart with their high press game and counter attacking football. We would have been annihilated.
    So many times in the past, I have seen Nigerian teams make this mistake, and we usually pay a heavy price. At the 1988 Olympics for instance, Nigeria held Brazil to a goalless first half. In the second half, we conceded a goal, and in panic, we threw men forward in search of the equalizer. Brazil hit us on the counter and the encounter ended 4 nil in their favor. If we had approached the game with more maturity, we probably would have lost by much less margin. We might have even gotten something from the game! This is just one of numerous examples. And this is the main reason we struggle against Ghana and other teams that are founded on a strong defense. When we meet teams like this, if we concede early, or if we don’t score, we panic, throw caution to the winds, and get punished.
    It takes great mental fortitude and maturity to react to an early goal the way we did today. For this, I am greatly encouraged. By not going gung-ho, we actually gave ourselves a chance at getting something from the game.

    • Dr. Drey 10 months ago

      You just reminded me of Sydney 2000 olympics vs Ivan Zamorano’s chile and Ladan Bosso’s U20s vs same chile in 2007. Those ones really undressed us with our lack of respect for them.
      Yea our performance was poor today, but I am happy with this result, it has brought us back down to earth and will probably help us re-focus on the main task ahead which is AFCON 2021. Maybe we will just learn to stop overrating ourselves. Nigeria must beat Algeria by nothing less than 3-0….LMAO. Like seriously!
      If we cry so much about today, we loose sight of tomorrow….na ghana and senegal dem undress without permission earlier on…..lolz….wetin make those ones do…?

      • Samari 10 months ago

        Dr.Drey and I’m also happy that these friendlies are coming just about a month to our all important qualifier against Siera Lone and also the WCQ starting soon. Thank God it happened this way, if not maybe just maybe we would have gone into the qualifier with Siera Lone and recieve a shock. Like you said we need to now come back to earth and plan adequately on how to succeed in future.

  • we nigerians are too stubborn.. i warn us earlier that we shouldn’t risk our fifa ranking to play algeria bcux no aribo, etebo, ndidi ejaria, osimen, but we were refused.. ok now see how we go down in fifa ranking.. i further warn that without magician like aribo, we can withstand big side, but my people dont see, what i am seeing..

    • No much wahala. Current number 1 Senegal sef lose 1-3 to Morocco. Ghana lost 0-3 to Mali. Hopefully we beat current number 2, Tunisia well on Tuesday. Las Las, we should still find ourselves on number 3 in next FIFA ranking with both Senegal and Tunisia displaced . I knew Algeria’s eyes were on moving up the ranking by trying to beat teams in front of them. This is a friendly. I’m sure in the next competitive game, when push comes to shove and we have our first team, Algeria will pay heavily for these 2 losses.

  • Sir Phill 10 months ago

    Iwobi play well in the match but my issue with him is his passing. Iwobi pass accuracy in the match was bad, he need to improve in that area. Ekong performance in the match was below average Balogun was the one that does what Ekong supposed to do in the defence but fail. Onyeka need time to blend well in the team he is not a bad player. Paul Onuachu has been given enough time in SE to replicate his club form but he keep disappointing whenever call upon to do the job. Zaidu did great in his debut match and Maduka did well also as a goalie. I hope to see new faces in Tunisia match the likes of cyril, Ejuke, more of Akpoguma and Alampasu to see what they can offer SE.

    • The Algerians won fair and square, so congratulations to them.They executed a very simple strategy..Nick in an early goal to unsettle your opponents.Play in tight and narrow at the back.Mark tight and do not leave spaces to be exploited.Most importantly, always win the second ball and never allow them time on the ball, when in possession, break out fast particularly through their rusty players.

      But there are a lot of lessons lessons and positives to take away by the Nigerian.First, we don’t have capable replacements for the injured players yet.Kalu and chukwueze need serious competition on the wings.if our wingers are having an off day or being marked out of a game , we lacked a second route .to go all . For a team that is tactically disciplined  and stubbornly uncompromising like the Algerian, You need a very skillful play maker ( like JJ okocha and Kanu) who can dribble very close and in very tight spaces to draw the opponents out of position to create opening for his strikers to score..sadly, we lack that kind  of players now maybe Ejaria will present us that option.

      Paul Onachu , when fielded need a second striker to play off him or do the dirty work for him to finish up.With our wingers having a bad day in office, one would have imagined a second striker playing very close to him, then with long balls from defense for him to knock down for the other striker to score. He was a lonely figure upfront and have to drop into midfield to help out a lot of times.Plus his kind of play need a very good midfielders to function properly.This was clearly lacking yesterday.

      Now to the positives .big up to Sanusi, he kept Mahrez quite, he denied him the opportunity to cut in through the right and wreck havoc.He has to move to the Centre before he was finally substituted.

      Decent comeback  for the cultured young man Ebuehi.He played really well and we pray that he stays healthy. The young goal keeper had a good game too.He was not at fault for the goal.He need more game time to further boost his confidence but clearly we have a great goal keeper in the making.Kelvin too had a decent game, he will be particularly helpful in competing with the “Oyibo wall” and when we opt to play a flat 3 central defenders.

      Also I hope it is now clear to commentators on this forum that think that we only need to turn up to win matches, that this is not the case.

      On the flip side though, who noticed that Musa and kelechi appears a little overweight and are lacking match sharpness?

      Finally, this our jersey, hehnn.I would have preferred a little improvement on the lady design, instead of this.

      Let us see how they will respond against Tunisia.

      • Deradocee 10 months ago

        You have said it all my bro @Toni all your analyses of the match is spot..

  • Sunnyb 10 months ago

    Thanks Deo, the game is over and we lost, what’s the way forward guys?

    • asonaldo 10 months ago

      The way forward is for GR to be a bit dynamic with his tactics. If I may ask why don’t he play a 4-4-2 formation because on several occasion our top 9 have been tamed by defenders due to the lack of a supporting striker thereby making them docile. As for me I will like to see the pairing of Cyriel Dessers and Iheanacho.

  • Thanks everyone. Much appreciated.