Super Eagles players’ ratings in their 2-0 loss to Croatia

An Etebo own goal in the first half and a penalty by Modric in the second killed off Nigeria at the Kaliningrad Stadium.

The S in their opening game of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

An Oghenekaro Etebo own goal in the first half and a penalty by Luca Modric in the second gave Croatia the three points to top Group D following the 1-1 draw between Argentina and Iceland earlier in the day.

This is how Super Eagles players rated in the game

Francis Uzoho (Goalkeeper)

Can be blamed for the first goal but not his fault really and the second goal was from a penalty. Could have done more during set-pieces but didn’t embarrass himself.


Shehu Abdullahi (Right-back)

Had a poor game and was very ineffective in the first half. Didn’t offer anything in attack and his defending was a suspect all through the game.


William Troost-Ekong (Central defender)

Very disorganised defending and caused the penalty for the second goal by wrapping his arms around Mario Mandzukic during a corner. Was easily beaten in the air too.


Leon Balogun (Central defender)

Bullied by the Croatians especially in the air and failed to organised the defence.


Brian Idowu (Left-back)

A passenger all through the game but managed not the let himself get beaten on several occasion. Ventured forward a bit also.


Wilfred Ndidi (Defensince midfield)

Held his own against the talented Croatian midfielder. His only fault was not helping with good passes to the forwards-that was never his strength anyway.

Was very strong in tackles also.


Oghenekaro Etebo (Central midfield)

A very solid start from the former Warri Wolves midfielder before his unfortunate own-goal. Supported Ndidi well in shielding the back four but got tired towards the end.


Mikel Obi (Attacking midfield)

At the age of 31, a slow Mikel do not have the legs and stamina for the attacking midfield role. Offered nothing in the game, could not mark, hold on to possession, tackle or field good passes to the forwards.


Alex Iwobi (Forward)

Slow start from the Arsenal man but was ultimately the most liveliest Nigerian player on the night. Often times cutting in from the left into midfield to play passes that troubled Croatia’s defence. Was a huge shock when he was substituted instead of Mikel Obi.


Victor Moses (Forward)

Was also very lively and the Croats had to pay very close attention to him. Guilty of falling easily from every tackle but did create some chances on his own.


Odion Ighalo (Striker)

Cut a very isolated figure upfront on his own which was not his fault at all. Struggled to trouble the Coats’ defence and didn’t get any good pass from his midfielders.



Ahmed Musa (Forward)

A 62nd substitute in place of Iwobi, Musa failed to trouble the Croats with his pace. Played without real purpose and failed to make an impact.


Kelechi Iheanacho (Striker)

Came on in the 73rd minute and showed that he should have been brought on earlier. Showed strength and held on to the ball well.

Troubled the Croatian defence in the less than 20 minutes he played.


Simy Nwankwo (Striker)

Got in late on and didn’t have any impact to be rated.


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