Super Eagles lose 0-2 to Mali: Player Ratings

Super Eagles lose 0-2 to Mali: Player Ratings
Photo by Icon Sport

Following the friendly between the Super Eagles and the Black Stars of Ghana, the Nigeria national team took on the Eagles of Mali in another international friendly.

It was another test for Finidi George as the coach of the Super Eagles in an interim capacity as the NFF continues its search for another gaffer for the national team.

Many agree that Finidi did well in the game against Ghana and have continued to clamour for him to be handed the role in a permanent capacity.

The Super Eagles lost to Mali 2-0 in a game that was anything but a friendly in Marrakech, Morocco, as they continue to build a team that can pick a ticket to the World Cup in 2026.

Following their latest outing, this is what we learned and our rating of the players who played against Mali.

Super Eagles 0-2 Mali: Player ratings

Stanley Nwabali

Stanley Nwabali Super Eagles
Credit: Icon Sport

Stanley Nwabali had little to do in the Super Eagles vs Mali game and was largely untested by the Malians. He was not at fault for the goal scored by the Malians. There was little he could do to stop the goal.

He was in good command of his box and distributed the ball well.

Rating: 6.1

Bright Osayi-Samuel

The Fenerbahce defender played wing-back as Finidi lined the Super Eagles in a defence comprising Omeruo, Awaziem and Ajayi. He did well to get up the field but had little cutting edge in attack.

The recovery rate of the Fenerbahce man left him a little short of the desired product.

Rating: 5.7

Jamilu Collins

Collins was solid at the back but offered little going forward. Little got past him as he stayed sturdy in his position.

The left-back needs to improve on his passes forward. He improved in the second half, but his final balls were not impactful.

Rating: 5.5

Semi Ajayi

Ajayi was sure-footed on the ball and quickly intercepted passes towards his defence. He covered his goalkeeper well and ensured nothing went past him.

He continued where he left off in the Nigeria vs Ghana game.

Ajayi was also a bit adventurous in getting forward and trying to initiate attacks but didn’t get much joy. He was the best of the Super Eagles defenders.

Rating: 6.7

Kenneth Omeruo

Kenneth Omeruo - Super Eagles
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Kenneth Omeruo ensured it was steady at the back. He mopped up the balls and commanded his defence well. It was not his best game for the Super Eagles.

He also tried to keep the defence moving in unison. The only drawback to his game was his pace, but Ajayi and Awaziem covered well for him.

The lack of pace was his undoing and led to the Malians scoring a second goal.

Rating: 5.8

Chidozie Awaziem

He was at fault for the Malian goal, but besides that, he rarely put a foot wrong. He was solid with his defending and combined well with Omeruo but seemed to lose concentration.

Whenever called to question, he stood up to be counted but was partly to blame for the second goal.

Rating: 5.5

Wilfred Ndidi

He was below his usual lofty standards. He was caught in between attack and defending and was aloof at times. Sometimes, Nididi shielded the defence well, but he was at sea for most of the game.

He could do better.

Alex Iwobi

Alex Iwobi - Super Eagles
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Perhaps the most spritely of the lot. Like at AFCON, he dropped too deep to receive the ball. The blame would be on Ndidi, who failed to advance the ball forward.

He was far away from where he could be dangerous, and his passes were a little short of the mark.

Rating: 6.0

Raphael Nwadike

He kept it simple, neat and tidy. He rarely misplaced a pass and tried to make himself available to receive a pass.

He could have done better with his forward play.

Rating: 6.0

Moses Simon

He tried to be a threat to the Malians. He could have scored, but his goal attempt proved his last of the game, as he went out injured.

Rating: 5.0

Kelechi Iheanacho

Kelechi Iheanacho - Super Eagles
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He had little to feed on. There was no supply, and when he received the ball in dangerous positions, he had no support and the Malian defenders kept him at bay.

Iheanacho tried to put himself about, but the Malian defenders overwhelmed him.

Rating: 4.5

Cyriel Dessers

He replaced the injured Moses Simon and was nowhere to be found in the game. Though he didn’t get enough supply, his positioning was questionable.

When he got passes that could be dangerous, his first touch let him down. It was a poor game by his standards.

It was a Super Eagles performance to forget.

Rating: 2.0

This article was most recently revised and updated 2 weeks ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter.