The Super Eagles of Nigeria went from ordinary in the first half to superb in the second as Ahmed Musa’s brace gave them a 2-0 win against an ice-cold Iceland.
The win puts the Eagles on the brink of qualification, and several players did impress in coach Gernot Rohr’s new system.
Francis Uzoho (4 stars)
Good saves from two Sigurdsson opportunities, the first was an early free kick. Commanded his area throughout the encounter and went down well to save late on when Ekong’s poor clearance put the defence in trouble. Another good display from the 19-year old.
Brian Idowu (2 stars)
Better display from the fullback but still lacked positioning and offered no threat in attack. Hooked for Ebuehi at halftime.
Troost-Ekong (3 stars)
A quiet but better display. The presence and success rate of Balogun and Omeruo on either side of him made his work easier. Still had time to put his defence under pressure late in the game.
Kenneth Omeruo (4 stars)
Commanding display from the centre back. Repelled everything thrown at him and won the header that started the move for Nigeria’s goal.
Leon Balogun (4 stars)
Colossus in defence. Just like Omeruo, took care of everything thrown his way. He also stepped out of defence with the ball to add more bodies in attack.
Wilfred Ndidi (4 stars)
Good battling display from the hard-working midfielder. Covered much ground to give Eagles the upper hand in the centre. His deflected long-range shot required a good save.
Oghenekaro Etebo (4 stars)
Another good display from a player who was seen as a backup to the more established players. Full of energy, stamina, won many midfield battles. Woke his colleagues up with his lung-busting run and shot seconds into a second half in which he constantly pushed the Eagles forward. He can be a box-to-box midfielder if he wants to.
Mikel Obi (3 stars)
The captain played better, spreading play with accurate passes. His constant movement without the ball hurt his play in the first half. His return to a deep-lying position in the second half freed Etebo while he set the tempo of the game. Hopefully, his wrist would be okay before the game against Argentina.
Victor Moses (3 stars)
Played well as a wing back, but the service wasn’t always good, contesting long balls against a tall Sævarsson. Still has the tendency to fall at the slightest touch. A better second half display in which his cross was converted by Musa, while he could have added one himself.
Ahmed Musa (5 stars)
Five-star performance. His pace troubled Iceland’s defence all night. Wonderful first touch before slamming in his goal from a move he started. Took on the whole defense to score a wonderful second. Now has four World Cup goals.
Kelechi Iheanacho (3 stars)
Handed a surprise start, the Leicester City forward flattered to deceive. Nice touches here and there with nothing to show for it. Although his movement disorganised Iceland’s defence, he could have done better.
Tyronne Ebuehi (2 stars)
Offered more both in attack and defense, and his pace was key. Unlucky to give away a VAR-awarded penalty which was blasted wide. Otherwise, he offered more than Idowu has in this tournament.
Odion Ighalo (3 stars)
The striker was given some minutes to keep the Iceland defense occupied and he carried out his task well. Could have had a goal in added time but was more interesting in holding up the ball for others.
Another late substitute given some runout time as Rohr looked to run down the clock.