Nigeria Player Ratings vs. Argentina: Iwobi stars as Super Eagles soar

Alex Iwobi and Ola Aina of Nigeria EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

Alex Iwobi scored twice as Nigeria rallied to overturn a two-goal deficit and beat a strong Argentina team 4-2 on Tuesday, in one of the finest Super Eagles performances of the Gernot Rohr era.

The Arsenal forward stood out with his goals and incisive second half running, but how did the rest of the team fare in Krasnodar?

Here are the KweséESPN player ratings following a famous victory:

Daniel Akpeyi, 4: He made a number of very good stops from Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala.

Both should have been enough to earn him at least a 6, but making such a basic error as picking up a ball after dropping it, and doing so just outside the box? That can't be excused!

For a man playing for redemption, Akpeyi may have just cost himself a World Cup place.

Shehu Abdullahi, 7: The right-back just keeps impressing, match after match. This was by no means a vintage performance, but it is to his credit that Aguero barely got a sniff all game.

Ola Aina, 6: For a youngster starting only his second game, then having to go up against some of the best players in the world, Aina acquitted himself admirably.

He did get caught upfield a number of times, leaving Leon Balogun exposed to Cristian Pavon's pace. One such incident led to the second goal.

Chidozie Awaziem, 6: The promising young centre-back was deployed on the right of a three-man back three and took a while to get into the game, mistiming tackles early on. However, as the contest went on, his composure improved.

He kept an eye on Aguero, and timed his tackles to perfection.

Leon Balogun, 7: It wasn't his best game, but not his worst, either.

Balogun started slowly, got caught for pace by Pavon, ran into Aina and almost cracked his skull, but recovered for a much better second-half showing, making one decisive intervention

William Troost-Ekong, 8: Anchored the back three in another near-impeccable 90 minutes of uncompromising defending.

John Ogu, 7: He may not have scored, but Ogu's simplicity in possession and defensive discipline allowed Mikel freedom to play high up the pitch.

Wilfred Ndidi, 7: The Leicester City man took on the pitbull role in Ogenyi Onazi's absence, haranguing the opposition, but enjoyed little success in the first half.

John Obi Mikel, 8: Like the rest of his troops, he endured a forgettable first half, but after the switch in systems, he was a little more involved. Mikel began the moves that led to at least two of the goals.

Alex Iwobi, 9: Man of the Match, and not just for his two goals. He barely registered on the first-half radar, but swept home one goal, and then devastated three of the finest defenders in the world before finishing for his second. An outstanding individual display.

Kelechi Iheanacho, 8: Another candidate for the man-of-the-match award, Iheanacho scored a stupendous free kick, and then contributed two assists with incredible touch and vision.


Francis Uzoho, 6: The wonderkid had very little to do when he came on, bar one tip over the bar. However, just having him at the back appeared to bring an assurance there, and he dealt decisively with two crosses.

Tyronne Ebuehi, 8: What a 45-minute display that was! Ebuehi replaced Abdullahi, and carried on from where the latter left off; staying disciplined, not committing early.

Brain Idowu, 7: A sensational debut from the Russia-based defender. He was in the box when Iwobi swept home his first, and then claimed a debut goal soon afterwards. He didn't really have enough time or test for us to gauge his defensive strength.

Ahmed Musa, 7: The wideman's enduring a testing season at club level, but he reaffirmed why he's such a valuable member of the squad here.

He entered to trouble a tiring defence, spring to the byeline and setting up Iwobi for a fine goal.

Olarenwaju Kayode, n/a: Wasn't on the pitch long enough to get a rating.