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SUPERB!: How Super Eagles Rated Vs Libya In Battle Of Sfax

SUPERB!: How Super Eagles Rated Vs Libya In Battle Of Sfax

Completesportsnigeria.com’s ADEBOYE AMOSU appraises the performance of the Super Eagles, player-by-player, in their 3-2 win against the Mediterranean Knights of Libya – a reverse fixture in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers at Taieb Mhiri Stadium, Sfax on Tuesday October 16, 2018.


Looked shaky at times, but made a number of vital saves to help the Super Eagles to a third consecutive win in the qualifiers.

OLA AINA: 7/10


Failed to track Zeibeiea for Libya first goal of the game.
Otherwise. it was a good performance from the versatile fullback.


Slipped early on in the game which nearly resulted in a goal for the Libyans but recovered well to post an above average showing.


Strong as ever, Leon Balogun stood up to the threat of the Libyans especially in the second half. The Brighton & Hove Albion defender also showed his ball playing ability in the game.


The SC Paderborn left-back was put under intense pressure by the Libyans in the second half but proved equal to the task.


Ndidi picked up a silly yellow card in the closing stages of the game which effectively rules him out of Super Eagles next game against South Africa. However, the Leicester City man was an influential figure in the midfield for the Super Eagles.


He was lively in the early parts of the game but soon fizzle out and misplaced a couple of simple passes. Made way for John Ogu 15 minutes from time.


Had a hand in Nigeria’s first goal scored by Odion Ighalo, but not as effective as he was in the previous game in Uyo.


Provided two assists and scored the Super Eagles second goal in the game. The stand-in captain no doubt led by example in what was a lively performance.


Failed to replicate his performance from the first leg and was duly substituted 10 minutes from time by Henry Onyekuru.


Another man -of- the match display from the forward who scored twice in the game. He also provided the assist for Ahmed Musa’s second goal.


JOHN OGU: 4/10
Didn’t infuence the game much following his introduction for Oghenekaro Etebo 15 minutes from time. He gave the ball away late on which nearly resulted in a goal for the Libyans.

Full of life and showed glimpses of his ability after he took the place of Samuel Kalu in the 80th minute.

Took the place of Alex Iwobi late on

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  • Daniel 4 years ago

    Uzoho rated 7? Lol

    • Omaskels 4 years ago

      Of cos..he was shaky all tru..check his position at first goal Libya scored,although he made sum saves but overall performance was fair.6/10

  • Joel Chidi 4 years ago

    SFAX, Tunisia — It was a long and nightmarish northern summer for Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo, who has rebounded to not only top of the scoring list in these Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, but worm his way back into the hearts of Super Eagles fans.

    After a dire World Cup campaign, where he was roundly blamed for the defeat to Argentina that saw the Africans crash out of the tournament, he’s gone on to score five goals in two qualifier games against Libya.

    Scoring a hat-trick, he heard his name sung from the stands as he was subbed off after 75 minutes of the first game on the weekend. He was then serenaded by supporters in the second game on Tuesday, as he scored twice and provided one assist.

    Beaming as he deflected personal praise in his first interview since the World Cup, the trademark Ighalo smile, which had been dimmed for months, flashed as he pointed to team effort instead.

    “The team really worked hard, it is a good team performance and I am happy to score five goals in two games but it is an all-round performance and I am happy with the team performance.

    “We are 99 per cent sealed the ticket to the Cup of Nations,” he told KweséESPN in an exclusive interview in Sfax, Tunisia, where the second match was played.

    Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo challenged by Sand Masaud of Libya Kabiru Abubakar/BackpagePix
    But all of this nearly did not happen. Sitting down in the changing room of the Taieb Mhiri Stadium, Ighalo reflected on what has been a challenging last few months for him and his family.

    For a fleeting moment, the ever-present smile turned wry, then retreated as Ighalo opened about on how he and his family — including his children — endured vitriolic abuse, and even received death threats on social media, after a World Cup performance where even he admitted he had not played up to his own high standards.

    Things got so bad, Ighalo said, that he came this close to packing it all in.

    “I know the fans want me to score goals. I understand them,” the China-based striker said. “But some of them took it to another level.

    “They said a lot of things. To my innocent kids, to my wife, even to the extent they threatened my life and the life of my family.”

    Despite trying to remain above it all and not respond to critics, he was deeply hurt by the attacks on his family, especially his children.

    “I felt very bad [when they went after my family]. I had to talk to my wife because she could not take it. Some words they said about my kids, about me. Some words they said to her, threatening and all that. That is beyond football.

    “You know women and how they react when you talk about their children. But I never said a word to nobody and I never replied anybody.”

    Changchun Yatai’s Odion Ighalo is Nigeria’s top scorer this season, across all leagues globally. XIN LI/Getty Images
    He did not have to take any action to protect his family, as they live in England while he plays in China for Changchun Yatai. But with all of that going on, it was only natural that the forward wanted to quit, especially when his wife advised him to.

    “My wife said ‘you don’t have to go there [to Nigeria] any more’ and it was because of all what they said to her and to our family.”

    It took national team coach Gernot Rohr’s intervention to convince Ighalo to come back and suit up in green and white again.

    Ighalo explained: “I want to thank Rohr because after the World Cup and all those things happened, he called me before the Seychelles game [in September] and I told him I was contemplating stopping because it is not easy.

    “But the coach had belief in me. He said ‘I know you are a good goalscorer and I know you can do it. Come and show them that you can score.’

    “If a coach believes in me, then I will come. I told hm ‘coach, if I am in your plans hundred percent then I will honour the invitation any time you call me.’

    “He said ‘yes, you you are in my plans for the games’. Then he said ‘don’t be under pressure, just go do your thing, I know you can do it.’

    “That gave me the confidence which I believed that I needed. I want to thank him for defending me, and giving me the words like a father, encouraging me, talking to me. He gave me more belief and I thank God for repaying him with these goals.”

    Odion Ighalo celebrates with the bench after scoring one of his three goals against Libya on 13 October. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images
    Ighalo has since disabled comments on his Instagram account, where he is still active, and rarely appears in front of the media. And he has no intention of changing that decision anytime soon.

    So does he feel like he has proven all those doubters wrong?

    “I am not trying to prove anybody wrong,” he said. “I am just trying to work hard for my country and I always give hundred percent.

    “Unfortunately, it didn’t happen the way I wanted it at the World Cup. But life did not end there. I went back to my club, and I continued my game.

    “Now I am back here to play for my country. I just want to give hundred percent whenever I play, goal or no goal. As long as the team wins, I am satisfied.”

    Nigeria’s next Afcon qualifier is against South Africa on 16 November

    • Joel Chidi 4 years ago

      The things they pass through just because they want to play for Nigeria. Senseless fair weather fans. You know yourselves. #nonsense

    • Paschal 4 years ago

      I criticised him too but not to the point of hurling insults and threats at his family. It would be unfair for anybody to do such. Theres nothing wrong in criticism so long as it is not taken beyond the football horizon. Am sure the criticisms also pushed him to work harder. Thankfully he has proved us wrong. I pray he perseveres with this pedigree. If he does, especially at the afcon, then he will sure win the african footballer of the year award.

    • Dr. Drey 4 years ago

      Ighalo…..I sincerely commiserate with you just as I am overwhelmingly happy for you at least this once. Even if you end up not scoring for the SE again till ur national team career is over, Shutting up your critics this once and giving them loads of humble pies to eat should rant as a big achievement in your career. They know themselves o. The so-called ‘constructive critics’ who never said anything constructive about you all through you bad patch. Some of them have not even succesfully coached their sons to be able to kick a ball on target, yet they want to teach you how to play a game that has already brought you as much fame and fortune as their generations put together can only dream of. Keep doing what you know how to do best bro.
      And to Mr Rohr. thanks for being a real father. You alone knows what you see in ighalo that makes you always keep faith in him, same way Didier Deschamps keeps faith in olivier giroud, despite him not scoring for france in close to 10 games en-route the world cup trophy and thereafter. And thank you for tweaking your tactical approach a little to suit Ighalo’s style….the young man thrives when he has a partner who can act as a foil for him in attack so he wont have too many men on him. This helps him to ghost behind his marker(s) into spaces where he can find comfort to do his job. It worked while he was in Granada, down till when he was at watford and now in china. Ahmed Musa, and Alex Iwobi’s new positions and Ighalo’s new-found form are not mere coincidences. Give any striker in the world the ball “THE WAY HE WANTS IT” and he will surely do with it what he likes doing with it.

  • Paschal 4 years ago

    And the Supersport commentator says “The LATE Peter Rufai” hahahahaha. Did anyone hear that? Peter Rufai is not late. I guess he was refering to the late Stephen Keshi. We love you Keshi. May you rest in perfect peace. Amen

  • Iwobi should get more than a 6, because he really tried, though he was tired towards the end, not only him but most of them

  • Chairmanfemi 4 years ago

    Weldone to the Super Eagles. They showed class this weekend. And Ighalo also shut the mouth of the critics most especially in this forum: The ever Nay-Sayers and negatively minded critics(Omo9ja and his crew) Now they’ve ran back to there ugly shells waiting for when Ighalo won’t score in a match before they bring out there ugly heads..mtcheew. Keep Soaring my dear Super Eagles

    • Dr. Drey 4 years ago

      They claim they were ‘constructive critics’. I challenge them to copy and past any of their previous ‘constructive’ pieces of advice and criticisms here for us to see

  • #Chairmanfemi, you like wahala too much. My do you need to mention #Omo9ja as those who take delight in over criticing Odion Ighalo? Just wait for it. If I am not disappointed, you will get a like reply. Thankfully you didn’t call #Chima E. Samuels. My take on this criticizing thing is that those who criticize are the genuine Super Eagles fans. Seriously. Nobody in this forum threatened Ighalo’s family. I was on this forum everyday either as a contributor or a reader. There was nothing like that. Moreover, Complete Sports editors will never never never allow such to appear. I trust them for that. They have stopped less things not to talk of threatening a national team player’s family including innocent children. I am using this medium to tell those who like to abuse other contributors to stop associating any Complete Sports forumites with such criminal activity. #Chairmanfemi and Dr Drey in particular should be humane and gentlemanly stop it as it is a serious allegation. Please.

    • Man, you are full of wisdom and you are a great peace maker. Henceforth, I will ignore the likes of Chairmanfemi. The guy is so rude.From now, I will try to always take the high road.
      Thank you.