Sierra Leone vs Nigeria: Ndidi and 3 other players who performed below expectation

Sierra Leone vs Nigeria: Ndidi and 3 other players who performed below expectation

Faruq Ibrahim 21:26 - 18.06.2023

We review four players who performed below expectations in Nigeria's victory over Sierra Leone.

The Super Eagles beat Sierra Leone 3-2 this evening, sealing their place in next year's AFCON tournament in Ivory Coast thanks to a brace by Osimhen and a late winner by Kelechi Iheanacho. 

Although they clinched maximum points at the end, it was not all smooth sailing for the Super Eagles, as they let two goals slip and, in parts, were not as coherent as you would expect from a team of their quality. 

We review the major culprits:

Wilfred Ndidi

The Leicester City midfielder has been a shadow of his once domineering presence in the space in front of the defence in recent times, and this match lent credence to suggestions that his time at the top was over. 

He was subpar in his role as the team's breakwater, and Nigeria looked susceptible in defensive transitions. He was also poor on the ball, completing none of his five attempted long balls.

Bright Osayi-Samuel 

Building up to the game, Osayi-Samuel was billed as one to watch because the Fenerbahce man has been nigh impeccable for the Super Eagles since making his debut against Portugal late last year.  

However, his performance today left a lot to be desired, as he offered little going forward and was in the frame for the first goal Nigeria conceded in the game.

Joe Aribo

Peseiro's decision to start Aribo excited many as it meant the Portuguese coach was playing three men in midfield, as clamoured for. 

Although he had an assist in the game, from a well-weighted pass even, the Southampton man offered little for the rest of his duration on the pitch.

Starting in place of Iheanacho, the former Rangers man was tasked with linking the midfield with the attack but was generally ineffective. He only managed to complete on the dribble, and his assist for Osimhen's second goal was the only chance he created in the game. 

Kevin Akpoguma 

Brought on to shore up a tired defence, and somehow the Nigerian backline looked worse with the fresh legs of Akpoguma. 

He replaced Bright at right-back, and like his predecessor, he added next to nothing going forward and could be fingered for his actions or inactions leading up to the Leone Stars' equaliser.  

Samuel Chukwueze

The LALIGA African footballer of the year has left a lot to be desired in his recent performances for the Super Eagles, and this game, sadly, was not an exception. 

The winger only managed to complete one dribble from two attempts, did not create any scoring chances, and missed a gilt-edged opportunity in the first-half. 

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