Nigeria vs Ivory Coast: Super Eagles' players ratings from best to worst in disappointing loss to Elephants Imago

Nigeria vs Ivory Coast: Super Eagles' players ratings from best to worst in disappointing loss to Elephants | Imago

Nigeria vs Ivory Coast: Super Eagles' players ratings from best to worst in disappointing loss to Elephants Imago

Ayoola Kelechi 06:59 - 12.02.2024

Which Super Eagles players were the worst in the AFCON 2023 final loss to Ivory Coast?

Nigeria’s Super Eagles failed in their quest to win a fourth Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after losing to 2023 AFCON hosts Ivory Coast in a disappointing final. 

After beating Ivory Coast in the group stages and scaling hurdles against Cameroon, Angola, and South Africa, the Super Eagles were regarded as favourites for the match against the Elephants, but failed to live up to expectations after succumbing to a 2-1 loss. 

Goals from Franck Kessie and Sebastien Haller overturned a first half goal by William Troost-Ekong and gave the Ivorians a deserved victory, but who were the best and worst performers for the Super Eagles in an overall disappointing AFCON final against Ivory Coast? 

Stanley Nwabali — 6

Despite conceding two goals in the AFCON final, Stanley Nwabali was arguably one of the Super Eagles’ best players against Ivory Coast. 

Nwabali made five saves in the 2023 AFCON final against Ivory Coast and stood between Nigeria and a less flattering scoreline, stopping the Elephants from adding to their two goals against the Super Eagles. 

Calvin Bassey — 6 

Nigeria’s best player by a considerable distance, Calvin Bassey was solid in defense and tried to make inroads with his passing from deep against Ivory Coast. 

The Fulham defender also made a crucial goal line clearance in the second half from Ivory Coast’s clearest chance to keep the score at 1-1. 

William Troost-Ekong — 5

The Super Eagles’ captain for the say scored the opening goal with a towering header in the first half to become Nigeria’s highest goalscoring defender at the Africa Cup of Nations, but things went downhill for the PAOK defender from then on. 

Troost-Ekong played a part in both goals conceded by the Super Eagles, failing to pick up Franck Kessie for Ivory Coast’s equaliser before getting beaten at the near post by Sebastien Haller for the eventual winner. 

Victor Osimhen — 5

An average performance from Victor Osimhen as the Napoli forward was outmuscled by the Ivory Coast defence. 

Showing signs of fatigue, Osimhen was unable to bully Evan N’Dicka and Odilon Kossounou as he has done many defenders at the 2023 AFCON

Semi Ajayi — 5

West Brom’s Semi Ajayi was not at fault for any of the goals, but could easily have been given his performance in the final. 

The defender was unable to help Nigeria defend set pieces and was suspect on a number of occasions as Ivory Coast pressured the Super Eagles for the majority of the match. 

Frank Onyeka — 4

Unable to affect the game against Ivory Coast, Frank Onyeka was disappointing against the 2023 AFCON hosts and was outdone in midfield by the Elephant’s midfield. 

The Brentford midfielder was clearly second best alongside Alex Iwobi and was unable to affect the game against Ivory Coast. 

Alex Iwobi — 4 

Fulham midfielder Alex Iwobi has struggled in the last two matches and managed to play a worse game in the final than he did in the semifinals against South Africa. 

Iwobi and Onyeka were clearly second best to an Ivory Coast midfield that contained 32-year-old Hull City player Jean Michael Seri. Not a good look for the former Arsenal and Everton star. 

Ademola Lookman —- 4

Nigeria’s top scorer at AFCON heading into the final, Ademola Lookman was disappointing against Ivory Coast and was a shadow of himself against the hosts. 

Lookman was shackled by the Ivorian defence and did not pose a threat against the tournament hosts, failing to fire a shot on goal throughout his 79 minutes on the pitch. 

Zaidu Sanusi — 3

Only rated this highly because there was not much expected from him given his performances at the 2023 AFCON so far. 

The Porto full back was shaky in defence, almost causing a goal in the first half and was disappointing going forward, spurning one of the few chances that the Super Eagles were able to create. 

Ola Aina — 3

The Nottingham Forest defender will have recurring nightmares about his face off with Simon Adingra in the AFCON 2023 final. 

Ola Aina was abysmal, and made only one successful tackle while getting dribbled past three times, including Adingra’s assist for the winner. 


Samuel Chukwueze — 3 

In 56 minutes of play, Samuel Chukwueze completed four passes, failed to complete his only attempted dribble, and lost five of six duels against Ivory Coast. 

The AC Milan forward was also dispossessed seven times and failed to justify Jose Peseiro’s decision to start him in the final.  

Moses Simon — 4

The Nantes forward was Nigeria’s first substitute against Ivory Coast and was expected to be a game-changer against the hosts, but was unable to affect the match in any considerable way. 

Moses Simon barely improved on the performance of the disappointing Chukwueze, whom he replaced before the hour mark, and was just part of the overall insufficient Super Eagles performance. 

Alhassan Yusuf — 5

Late substitute Alhassan Yusuf was unable to affect the match against Ivory Coast after coming on as a 79th minute substitute for Iwobi. 

Kelechi Iheanacho — 5

Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho was also a 79th-minute substitute, coming on for Ademola Lookman, but barring a few flashes was largely ineffective as a game-changer for the Super Eagles. 

Joe Aribo — X

Came on with four minutes of normal time left and had no effect on the game. 

Terem Moffi - X

Came on with four minutes of normal time left and had no effect on the game.

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