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Paris 2024 Olympics: Player ratings from Super Falcons goalless draw against South Africa

Paris 2024 Olympics: Player ratings from Super Falcons goalless draw against South Africa

A spot-kick goal from Rasheedat Ajibade at the Moshood Abiola Stadium was enough to send the Super Eagles through to the Paris 2024 Olympics for the first time since 2008.

Soccernet.ng rates the performance of the Nigerian players as they secured an aggregate 1-0 win over Banyana Banyana at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria.

1. Chiamaka Nnadozie 7/10: The Paris FC goalkeeper put up another solid performance in a Nigerian jersey. She made three strong saves to deny the South Africans and also coordinated her defence properly. Nnadozie was composed on the ball and came out to thwart the opposition’s counter-attack a few times.

2. Michelle Alozie 6/10: The Houston Dash full-back struggled to contain Linda Motlaho, which led to her repeatedly causing fouls that endangered the team. She also got caught in two minds about her preferred foot several times.

3. Christy Ucheibe 6.8/10: The S.L. Benfica defensive midfielder had another brilliant shift in the centre of the Nigerian defence. She covered well, timed her aerial clearances and helped Nnadozie in playing out from the back.

4. Osinachi Ohale 6.4 /10: The Pachuca defender struggled with her decision-making a few times, alongside losing a few aerial battles. She grew into the game and made vital clearances as the South Africans started to go long in the closing minutes of the match.

5. Chidinma Okeke 6.2/10: The Mynavi Sendai Ladies defender put in a good shift defensively. Offensively, she didn’t offer much and left Rasheedat Ajibade isolated on the flank several times.

6. Deborah Abiodun 6.5/10: The Pittsburgh Panthers defensive midfielder could have had a better game if she took less risks considering her role. She tried to show too much flair in positions that could have hurt the team. Other than that, she was composed as always, breaking the opposition attack, and linking play between the defence and midfield.

7. Halimatu Ayinde 6.3/10: The FC Rosengård midfielder did the dirty job in the midfield. She drew tactical fouls and relieved the pressure from the South Africans whenever they were on the counterattack. She, however, overhit some passes that could have created good chances for Nigeria.

8. Jennifer Echegini 6.5/10: Echegini didn’t have the best of games. She tried to switch her position to a more comfortable situation where she had more of the ball, but that didn’t happen. She was replaced by Esther Okoronkwo in the second half.

9. Uchenna Kanu 6.1/10: The Racing Louisville winger made late runs into the box in the first half which kept the South Africans on their toes, but missed the biggest chance Nigeria created on the night. She was replaced by Toni Payne twelve minutes into the second half.

10. Rasheedat Ajibade 6.9/10: Rasheedat’s resilience stood out this evening. She chased after every ball, took on the defenders when she got the chance and kept running even when she was isolated. She put in a true captain’s performance.

11. Chinwendu Ihezuo 6.2/10: The Pachuca forward struggled to impose herself on the game. She had a chance to break the deadlock in the first half, but South Africa’s Kaylin Swart was well equal to her attempt.

Substitutes

Toni Payne 5.9/10: The introduction of the Sevilla midfielder signalled a tactical change for the Super Falcons. She didn’t offer much, but the team’s delivery from set-pieces was much better when she came into the game.

Esther Okoronkwo 5.5/10: The U.D. Tenerife striker replaced Jennifer Echegini in the second half, but couldn’t make any notable impact.

Asisat Oshoala: The Bay F.C. forward replaced Ihezuo with seven minutes left on the clock, helping Nigeria hold on to their slender lead.

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