A wingless Nigeria side found its strength really sapped, as Madagascar stepped up the tempo to win with a scoreline one might least have expected.
On a day when the Super Eagles failed to shine and by their high standards, a 2-0 loss to Madagascar was an unexpected pre-match prediction but surprisingly, that was the outcome at the Alexandria Stadium.
Nigeria kicked off strongly coming closer to finding the back of the net but the minnows caught the Eagles on the counter and slotted in the first goal through Lalaina Nomenjanahary.
Carolus Andriamatsinoro gave the Berea a comfortable lead as they ended the game 2-0.
Stoke City star Oghenekaro Etebo emerged Nigeria’s best player on the evening with Alex Iwobi also showing flashes of his brilliance.
Futbalgalore.com runs the rule over the performance of the Eagles players in the clash.
Ikechukwu Ezenwa GOALKEEPER 3/10
The goalkeeper made one important stop to prevent Nigeria from conceding more. He wasn’t at fault for the two goals.
Chidozie Awaziem FULL-BACK 3/10
Played under intensed pressured the opening half hour but found his rhythm when the midfield clicked into gear. His combination with Ahmed Musa anytime he surged forward created more problems for Madagascar.
Ola Aina FULL-BACK 4/10
The highlight of his game was when he employed his explosive burst of pace to carve the Madagascar defence open and squirreled an effort which flew just across the game face of goal.
Leon Balogun CENTER-BACK 2/10
Calamitous performance. He was at fault for the opener after calling for the ball. His hesitation following a dangerous pass from John Ogu allowed Lalaina Nomenjanahary to steal the ball and fire beyond Ezenwa. It clearly showed that the defender is suffering from lack of game time and fitness.
William Troost Ekong CENTER-BACK 4/10
Strong, towering and composed at the back. The Udinese man had so much to do covering up for his defensive partner Balogun who failed to come to the party.
Oghenekaro Etebo DEFENSIVE MIDFIELD 6/10
All-conquering and energetic work by the Stoke City midfielder. He was a third force in the defence as he provided a solid shield and cover for the back four. Put in a strong performance.
John Ogu MIDFIELD 2/10
Ogu might have played his last game for the Super Eagles. He was completely lost. His pass was intercepted by Lalaina Nomenjanahary and it led to the first goal. He gave the ball away and couldn’t cope with the pace of the game. It wasn’t a surprise that he was hauled off for Wilfred Ndidi at halftime.
John Obi Mikel ATTACKING MIDFIELDER 2/10
Poor midfield delivery from the former Chelsea midfielder. He played with less force and lacked motivation to open up spaces in his worst ever national team performance. He paved way for Alex Iwobi.
Samuel Kalu RIGHT WING 3/10
Less thrilling to watch from the flanks. The Bordeaux player failed to dominate the wings. His final delivery wasn’t good enough in a below average performance.
Ahmed Musa LEFT WING 3/10
Did very little to influence the game as Nigeria struggled to the final attacking third. He should have levelled up for the Eagles but missed.
Odion Ighalo FORWARD 2/10
The Shanghai Shenhua striker didn’t offer anything special to the game. He wasted one or two half chance.
Wilfred Ndidi 3/10
The midfielder committed an unnecessary tackle that was left punished by Madagascar from a free kick. He also wasted two opportunities to score.
Alex Iwobi 5/10
The Arsenal midfielder helped the Eagles push forward with his penetrating passes. He was the livewire when he came off the bench for the ineffective Mikel.
Moses Simon 4/10
Moses Simon’s introduction came too late. He was dangerous at the left flank.