Nigeria vs Mali: Super Eagles player ratings from best to worst as Omeruo, Awaziem errors disappoint Finidi George's men

Super Eagles player ratings vs Mali | Imago, NFFTV

Nigeria vs Mali: Super Eagles player ratings from best to worst as Omeruo, Awaziem errors disappoint Finidi George's men

Ayoola Kelechi 00:34 - 27.03.2024

Nigeria's Super Eagles were thoroughly disappointing against Mali, but which players were the best or worst of the bunch?

In Finidi George's second game in charge, Nigeria suffered a 2-0 defeat against Mali, following a slow start and missed opportunities, with goals from El Bilal Toure and Kamory Doumbia.

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Despite dominating possession in the second half, Nigeria failed to capitalise, ultimately denting Finidi's hopes of securing the managerial position permanently.

Kelechi Iheanacho — 6

Iheanacho was again Nigeria’s best player against Mali, but that counts for little on a day where most of the Super Eagles team was well below standard. The Leicester City forward should have had an assist but for the wayward finishing of Dessers in the second half.

Alex Iwobi — 5

Iwobi was forced to help out defensively with Nigeria’s shortage in midfield quite obvious and was unable to be the creative force that we saw against Ghana despite his best efforts.

Stanley Nwabali — 5

There was little Nwabali could do for both goals after being thoroughly exposed by his defence twice, but conceding two goals from only three shots did bring back eerie memories of life during the Francis Uzoho era.

Wilfred Ndidi — 5

Left with too much to do in midfield and struggled to keep the Malians at bay as the Super Eagles were overrun by their more energetic opponents. With three or four Malian midfielders to contend with usually on his own, Ndidi was lucky to leave the pitch alive.

Jamiu Collins — 4

Nothing worked for Jamiu Collins against Mali. Crosses were not connecting, take-ons were not completed, and the Cardiff City full-back was largely flat.

Semi Ajayi — 4

Was the closest to Toure after Awaziem’s error but chose to appeal for a foul rather than close down the Mali forward. A schoolboy error from the 30-year-old defender.

Bright Osayi-Samuel — 4

The full-back was unable to reprise his role from Nigeria’s match against Ghana or indeed Fenerbahce’s match against Trabzonspor as Osayi-Samuel found himself unable to beat his man. Instead, he was forced to play backwards rather than forward.

Raphael Onyedika — 4

Appeared too eager to impress and was often caught out of position with his aggressive pressing which seemed ineffective and counterproductive more often than not, leaving gaps in the midfield.

Moses Simon — 4

Moses Simon was only on the pitch for 34 minutes before getting injured, but his half-hour appearance still left a lot to be desired as he played a major part in Nigeria's failure to fire a shot in the first half.

Kenneth Omeruo — 3

Disappointing reaction from the most senior defender in the side leading up to Mali’s goal as the former Chelsea man barely moved after spotting Toure with the ball. Even worse than his apathy during the first goal, Omeruo’s shocking lack of composure was exposed for the second goal as he failed to clear his lines allowing Kamoury Doumbia to sneak a second goal for Mali.

Chidozie Awaziem — 3

A costly mistake by Awaziem at the back cost Nigeria the opening goal after the defender dallied on the ball and failed to clear his lines properly, gifting El Bilal Toure an assist for Mali’s goal.


Ademola Lookman — 5

Lookman added some spark to the attack after coming on for Raphael Onyedika, but after a few flashes of brilliance, the Atalanta forward was nullified by a brilliant Malian backline.

Cyril Dessers — 3

Unbelievably missed Nigeria’s best chance of the game after coming on. Dessers failed to even work the Malian goalkeeper after being played clean through on goal with only the Mamadou Samassa left to beat.

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