AFCON 2024: Super Eagles player ratings vs Ivory Coast – Nigeria trample Elephants

A spirited second-half performance from the Super Eagles ensured they humiliated the host nation, Ivory Coast, at the Stade Alassane Ouattara on Thursday night.

Super Eagles skipper William Troost Ekong converted a penalty after the interval to record Nigeria's first win of the tournament.

Peseiro made two changes to Super Eagles squad

Jose Peseiro made two changes to the Super Eagles team that played against Equatorial Guinea. Yusuf Alhassan's injury has led to the Royal Antwerp midfielder missing out, and Samuel Chukwueze replaced him.

Additionally, Moses Simon, who started in the first game, lost his place to Calvin Bassey.

How the Ivory Coast vs Nigeria game unfolded

The match began with both teams displaying intense attacking efforts while their defences aimed to control each other. Despite a goalless first half, the game was filled with action, as each team managed at least six shots.

During the initial half, the Ivorian team maintained the majority of possession at 60%. They executed six shots, with three on target.

However, Chippa United's Stanley Nwabali thwarted their attempts with exceptional saves.

Conversely, the Super Eagles struggled to convert their opportunities, as they launched seven shots without managing to get any on target.

Additionally, Peseiro's team dominated in set pieces, earning five corners compared to Ivory Coast's two.

Super Eagles AFCON 2024
Photo by Icon Sport

In the second half, the Super Eagles experienced a change in their luck. Shortly after the commencement of the half, Ousmane Diomande committed a foul on Osimhen in the penalty box.

This incident underwent review by VAR, and following a brief assessment, the Super Eagles were granted a penalty. Nigeria's captain, Troost-Ekong, demonstrated composure and precision as he successfully converted from the spot.

Super Eagles player ratings

Goalkeeper & Defence

Stanley Nwabili(7/10)

He kept Nigeria in the game with some excellent first-half saves. He showed why he deserves to be the Super Eagles number one.

Ola Aina (7/10)

Shut Jeremie Boga down and got forward regularly himself. He had similar success against his replacement, Nicolas Pepe.

Zaidu Sanusi (6/10)

What a talent. Irresistible going forward while not neglecting his defensive duties.

William Troost Ekong (7/10)

A rock-solid towering presence in Nigeria's backline. His goal earned Nigeria the maximum points.

Sam Ajayi (7/10)

A stride quicker than Jean-Phillippe Krasso, who is not sluggish in the slightest.

Midfield

Calvin Bassey (8/10)

A characteristically committed midfield performance from the Fulham man, throwing himself into every challenge and in front of every shot necessary.  Eventually switched back to his favoured left-back in the second half.

Frank Oyeka (6/10)

Kept the game ticking over in midfield but not overly involved as Nigeria focused on winning back possession before it got as deep as Onyeka

Ademola Lookman (5/10)

Started the game with great gusto but his influence waned as the game wore on.

Alex Iwobi (6/10)

Showed wonderful maturity, yet again, in central midfield. Another effortless display.

Samuel Chwukwueze (5/10)

Rushed and ragged in the final third, the precise moment when he needed to keep a cool head.

Attack

Victor Osimhen (7/10)

Once again, the reigning African footballer of the year was wasteful in front of goal but he made amends by winning the penalty that won the Super Eagles the game.

AFCON 2024 Super Eagles
Photo by Icon Sport

Subs & Manager

Moses Simon

Not much time to make an impact but provided some fresh legs.

Kenneth Omeruo

Not much time to make an impact.

Bright Osayi-Samuel (N/A)

Not much time to make an impact.

Paul Onuachu (N/A)

Not much time to make an impact.

Jose Peseiro (8/10)

Job done… just about! Ivory Coast never really looked like scoring but after the disappointment of dropping points against Equatorial Guinea in their Group A opener, Peseiro will be glad to be back on track in the competition.

The decision to make two changes from the first game, with his players justifying the show of faith.

Avatar photo
Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu is a purpose-driven Ghanaian sports writer with a sharp eye for excellence. He has had stints with www.kickgh.com inkandkicks.com and ghanafans.com. He loves to talk and write about football on the African continent.