Zimbabwe vs Nigeria: Players ratings from best to worst as Super Eagles disappoint against Warriors

Nigeria vs Zimbabwe FIFA World Cup Qualifier Player Ratings | Imago

Zimbabwe vs Nigeria: Players ratings from best to worst as Super Eagles disappoint against Warriors

Ayoola Kelechi 18:22 - 19.11.2023

Another Super Eagles match, another disappointment, but which players were among the worst of the bunch?

Following a disappointing draw against Lesotho in Uyo, fans of the Super Eagles hoped that the team would get back up with a positive result against Zimbabwe in their second group stage match of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. 

However, those fans were met with more disappointment as Nigeria failed to secure maximum points in Zimbabwe, ending the international break with two points from a possible six after a depressing 1-1 draw against The Warriors. 

Only few players were able to leave the match against Zimbabwe with their heads held high for their performances, and we have rated the entire Super Eagles team to find out who those are

Moses Simon — 7

The Nantes forward had a quiet first half but was a creative menace in the second, eventually setting up Iheanacho for the equaliser. 

Calvin Bassey — 6

Fulham defender Calvin Bassey gave a good account of himself for the most part and did well to shield the left side of the defence, especially after Bruno Onyemaechi’s runs forward left counterattacking opportunities for the Warriors. 

Semi Ajayi — 5

Unable to rescue the Super Eagles with another goal, Semi Ajayi was still solid for Nigeria against Zimbabwe. 

Alex Iwobi — 5

Against a more robust midfield than Lesotho’s, Iwobi and the Super Eagles in general struggled to control the ball in the first half, especially without a recognised enforcer in the side. 

Things got a bit better for the Fulham midfielder after the interval, as Zimbabwe’s Warriors sat back into a deep block that allowed him to create from deep. 

Nathan Tella — 5

Bayer Leverkusen forward Nathan Tella made his debut for the Super Eagles and will be satisfied with that. His performance during said debut, however, left a lot to be desired from the recently acquired Nigeria international. 

Francis Uzoho — 4

While Francis Uzoho would have hated conceding from a 35-yard screamer, the goalkeeper can take some solace in the fact that there are very few in his position that could have saved the freekick from Walter Musona. 

Still, he did appear shaky a few times outside the incident and was lucky that a failed attempt to claim a cross late on did not result in a late winner for Zimbabwe. 

Frank Onyeka — 4 

Despite the obvious effort to force him into becoming one, Frank Onyeka once again showed, versus Zimbabwe, that he is not a midfield destroyer. 

He was yanked off after only 45 minutes, as one of the scapegoats of a shockingly poor first half that ended with the Super Eagles entering the break one goal down. 

Terem Moffi — 4

He was largely anonymous during the match against Zimbabwe and was mostly starved of service despite being the only real target in the box for the Super Eagles. 

A commendable performance from the captain for the day, who was also slightly hampered by the quality or lack thereof of supporting runs from full-backs on his side of the pitch. 

Bruno Onyemaechi — 4

He did little to help his cause of becoming the first-choice left-back for the country, even playing a corner kick directly out of play. 

A rather disappointing outing from Onyemaechi, who will still be hoping for more chances since his replacement was just as ineffective going forward and almost gifted the opposition a late winner. 

Joe Aribo — 4

Similar to Iwobi, Aribo was underwhelming against Zimbabwe and hardly got a foot in all game. The Southampton midfielder was forced to seek joy out wide after failing to produce quality chances from central positions and his failed attempt at a simple first touch when the need for quality was at its highest summed up an underwhelming afternoon. 

Ola Aina — 3

Sloppy in possession and was lucky not to cause an incident just before Zimbabwe’s first goal. He was unable to create any danger for the opposition and was eventually taken off for Bright Osayi-Samuel at halftime. 


Kelechi Iheanacho — 6

Yet another impressive performance from Iheanacho after shockingly dropping to the bench following a splendid showing against Lesotho in the opening match of qualifying. 

Iheanacho was the true epitome of a senior man, finding the back of the net for Nigeria’s equaliser in desperate circumstances. 

Bright Osayi-Samuel — 5

His offensive presence was an improvement on Ola Aina, but Bright Osayi-Samuel often lacked the final ball to make his bombarding runs a real threat to the Zimbabwean backline. 

Victor Boniface — 4

Victor Boniface was mostly anonymous after his substitution at halftime. The Bayer Leverkusen man was unable to have a similar effect as he did against Lesotho. 

Umar Sadiq — 4

Had chances to find the all-important winner, but was surprisingly insistent on trying flicks and tricks, even when faced square with the goalkeeper. 

Jamilu Collins — 4

Despite coming on as a late substitute, Collins almost had the most telling contribution on the pitch. 

The Cardiff City full-back was lucky to escape conceding a penalty and a red card late on, as he clumsily caught Zimbabwean forward Marshall Munetsi just outside the penalty area. 

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