Nigeria's disappointing draw against Lesotho left us with some awful performances to ponder, but which players were the worst?
The Super Eagles were forced to come from behind against the Crocodiles who have never been to an Africa Cup of Nations tournament, let alone a World Cup final.
18:52 - 16.11.2023
153-ranked Lesotho forced the Super Eagles to a share of the spoils in the FIFA WCQ, with Semi Ajayi the hero for Nigeria.
20:07 - 16.11.2023
The Super Eagles began their journey to qualify for the World Cup against Lesotho but failed to secure maximum points.
Expectedly, there were many disappointing performances across the deck from Super Eagles players, but there were also some encouraging showings to serve as a silver lining in a cloud of discontent.
Kelechi Iheanacho — 8
The best player on the pitch for the Super Eagles, Iheanacho was a constant threat from set pieces and created chance after chance for Nigeria against Lesotho, eventually providing the assist for the equaliser.
He also forced the goalkeeper into a superb save from a well-taken freekick just before the halftime break
Jamilu Collins — 7
Another top performer for the Super Eagles, Collins did well to create an overload on the left side of the pitch with both Ademola Lookman and his replacement, Moses Simon.
The full-back was a constant threat to the Lesotho defensive line with runs from deep and made several telling crosses into the penalty area.
Calvin Bassey — 6
Calvin Bassey hardly put a foot wrong against Lesotho and can pat himself on the back for his performance even though he was rarely put under pressure by the opposition.
The Fulham defender used his relative freedom to press forward and join the midfield on occasion, helping to add bodies to dominate Lesotho and cut out attacks early.
Semi Ajayi — 6
Made up well for ball-watching during Lesotho’s goal by scoring a superb equaliser with a powerful header from a corner kick.
Overall, it was an average performance, as the West Brom defender barely had any defending to do thanks to Lesotho’s tactics of sitting back and rarely launching attacks.
Alex Iwobi — 6
Solid if unspectacular, Iwobi was disciplined in the middle of the park for the Super Eagles and also started several attacks from deep for Nigeria.
He was not particularly threatened in midfield, but he still did well to orchestrate the flow of the game for Nigeria.
Victor Boniface — 6
The Bayer Leverkusen forward created the best chance of the first half with a masterful cut-back for Awoniyi, but was let down by his partner’s finish and also hit the post with an effort in the second half.
He did well to make his presence felt by the Lesotho defence, but just failed to get the all-important goal.
Frank Onyeka — 5
He dominated the midfield alongside Iwobi for Nigeria, but that was more a consequence of Lesotho’s timid midfield display than any real expertise.
It was an average game from the Brentford man in the end, and he was replaced by Joe Aribo midway through the second half.
Ademola Lookman — 5
Lookman had his moments against Lesotho, but his final decisions often let him down when it mattered the most.
He had the chance to play in Victor Boniface for an easy finish but chose to go for goal himself from a tight angle, leading to an easy block from a Lesotho defender in the first half.
His biggest highlight was forcing a save from Sekhoane Moerane in goal for Lesotho.
Bright Osayi-Samuel — 5
Osayi-Samuel has been the darling of the Super Eagles for months, spanning several appearances, but this is one game he would look back on with some regret.
Although he started well, making his usual bombing runs into the opposition area when given the chance, he eventually cost his side the opening goal after falling asleep during the corner to allow Motlomelo Mkwanazi to score for Lesotho.
Francis Uzoho — 4
Kept the scores level with a superb save midway through the first half after a rare breakaway from the Crocodiles, but was suspect once again for the opening goal, getting caught in no man’s land by Tshwarelo Bereng’s out-swinging corner
Taiwo Awoniyi — 3
Awoniyi was kept quiet for most of his time on the pitch, and his most memorable highlight from the match against Lesotho was missing the biggest chance of the first half, failing to put the ball into a gaping goal after a brilliant cut-back from strike-partner Victor Boniface.
Moses Simon — 5
Brought on to change the face of the game and inject some pace and trickery down the left, Simon was not at his dazzling best, failing to light up the wing as he did in the match against Mozambique in the most recent friendly.
Terem Moffi — 4
Moffi replaced Awoniyi just before the hour mark, but surprisingly made even less impact than the Nottingham Forest forward, failing to trouble the Lesotho defence throughout his stay on the pitch.
Joe Aribo — 5
The Southampton midfielder came closest to finding a winner for Nigeria and was inches away from connecting with a superb cross into the penalty area.
Unfortunately, he missed the ball by inches and was unable to clinch the match-winner. Other than this, the substitute was largely a peripheral fixture in the match.
Bruno Onyemaechi — 5
Onyemaechi replaced the excellent Jamiu Collins but was unable to leave a mark on the match either way. Understandable, considering the little time he had to make an impact.
Ola Aina — X
No time to sufficiently impact the match.