Nigeria's Super Eagles began their AFCON 2023 campaign against Nzalang Nacional of Equatorial Guinea on Sunday. Despite being the overwhelming favourites, José Peseiro's troops were unable to take all the points.
It's not that Nigeria didn't have their chances, they were unable to convert them. The Super Eagles had eight big chances against Equatorial Guinea, but failed to convert seven of them.
Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea: Top performers
Jesus Owono – 8.5
The best player of Sunday's game obviously goes to Jesus Owono. The Alaves shot-stopper single-handedly kept Equatorial Guinea in the game with six saves and two clearances.
Iban Salvador – 7.8
Although Iban Salvador didn't get to play the full 90 minutes, he did more than his fair share. The former Real Valladolid player scored the opening goal on Sunday. He also completed 72 percent of his passes (18/25), with an interception and a clearance.
Ademola Lookman – 7.5
Considering this was his debut in the Africa Cup of Nations, Ademola Lookman justified his call up to the Super Eagles squad. He completed 16 of 21 passes (76%), and one of those passes set up Victor Osimhen's equaliser.
Victor Osimhen – 7.0
Quite frankly, Victor Osimhen could've scored four or five goals. The Napoli forward wasted a lot of chances, with four of his six total shots going off target. He also missed two of Nigeria's eight big chances. However, Osimhen's goal put the Super Eagles back on level terms.
Saul Coco – 7.0
Saul Coco was the backbone of Equatorial Guinea's defense. He had seven clearances, a blocked shot and an interception. On top of that, the Las Palmas player contested five aerial duels, winning four of them. He also completed 30 of 35 passes (86%).
Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea: Lowest ratings
Basilio Ndong – 5.7
Basilio Ndong contested 11 ground duels, but won just three of them. He lost possession 16 times, and was 0 for 3 in crosses. Ndong also attempted two dribbles, and neither was successful.
Stanley Nwabali – 6.0
To be fair, Stanley Nwabali didn't really get much action on Sunday. However, Equatorial Guinea managed to get one shot on target, and not only did Nwabali not save it, he didn't even move.
Just like Osimhen, Zaidu Sanusi could've given the Super Eagles the lead a couple of times, but he wasn't very efficient in front of goal. The FC Porto player missed two big chances, he won just one of four aerial duels, and one of three ground duels.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago