Nigeria Super Eagles were beaten 2-1 by Algeria in an international friendly played at the Stade Olympique d’Oran on Tuesday night.
The Eagles went in front in the 9th minute when France based striker Terem Moffi reacted sharply to poke home from close range but Algeria equalised four minutes to the break through Riyad Mahrez’s penalty after Frank Onyeka was adjudged to have committed a foul.
Full back Youcef Atal then scored what turned out to be the winner for Les Fennecs just after the hour mark when his strike from about 35 yards whistled past an array of men in green leaving Francis Uzoho stranded.
Our Chief Football Writer Fisayo Dairo provides a rating on the individual performances on the night.
Francis Uzoho – 5
Largely culpable for the winner. Should have claimed the corner which he punched to a dangerous position and did not get back into the right position on time. Aside that, he had a decent game with a couple of saves and claims but sadly, like against Ghana, a major gaffe is always defining.
Ola Aina – 6
Solid defensively but nothing much going forward. Earned a couple of free kicks in less dangerous positions for the team as well.
Zaidu Sanusi – 3
Horrendous in the first half. Giving the ball away at will and almost set up a gift of a goal for the Algerians. Never seemed to cope well with Mahrez all through the game.
Frank Onyeka – 5
Average performance. Full of energy in the first half but soon fizzled out and sometimes left the back four unprotected.
Kevin Akpoguma – 5
Islam Slimani owned him all night although he helped in defending some dead balls. His reaction time has to get better. Still unonvincing in green-white-green.
Calvin Bassey – 6
Decent performance. Willing to take decisive measures for the team although sometimes want to do more than he should. Did all he had to do to help his defensive neighbours on occasions.
Ademola Lookman – 4
Flattered to deceive with some Denilson-esque stepovers but the final balls lacked substance. First to be yanked off by the coach after an hour of fruitless toil.
Alex Iwobi – 6
Still enjoying life in his new found CM role. Moved the ball quickly forward especially in the first half and was available to help out even defensively.
⭐ Terem Moffi – 7
Showed great anticipation for his goal though I feel a better first touch could have earned him a brace in the controversially disallowed goal. Was a handful for the Algerian defence all evening and justified why Peseiro rates him above Dessers.
Kelechi Iheanacho – 3
Doing the right things at the wrong times is a major Achilles heel for Iheanacho. Got lost sometimes and whenever he had the ball, was too eager to aim for goal when there were plenty of options. Another disappointing display playing off the centre forward.
Moses Simon – 4
Anonymous. Save for one or two decent set-pieces delivery, Simon was nowhere to be found on the pitch. Won a free kick towards the end of the first half and that was his best contribution in the game.
Saviour Godwin – Huffed and puffed but crumbled under the weight of trying to impress the coach.
Taiwo Awoniyi – Helped the team out in defensive duties but the team’s attacking play had become disjointed by the time he came on.
Cyriel Dessers – A five-minute cameo, barely had four touches of the ball.
Raphael Onyedika Nwadike – Within five minutes, showed why Peseiro, against all odds, preferred Onyeka to him. Looked off the pace and all over the place.
Coach Jose Peseiro – It seems that winning friendly games is not enshrined in his contract. Team showed a glimpse of defensive organisation in the first half but seem to pay too much respect to the home team. Will he stick to Uzoho or start another round of chop-and-change like his predecessor?