Grading Nigeria’s squad after the Confederations Cup grades the Super Eagles' performers following their group stage elimination in the Confederations Cup in Brazil
By Ed Dove 


1. Vincent EnyeamaArguably at fault for one or two of Nigeria’s goals, the resounding image of the Super Eagles stopper was his defiance in the face of waves of Spanish attacks. Must also take credit for organising those ahead of him. B+

16. Austin Ejide & 23. Chigozie Agbim – Once again Nigeria’s sturdy stand-ins travelled with the team but didn’t get a look in due to Enyeama’s dominance of the position. n/a


2. Godfrey Oboabona – Another important building block in Oboabona’s nascent international career. Typically dependable and resolute and his relationship with Omeruo is maturing nicely. Has begun to carry the ball out of defence with more composure and regularity, has all the makings of an elegant and established central defender. B+

3. Elderson Echiejile – Continued his impressive Afcon form in another major tournament. Further reduced the memory of Taye Taiwo, looked progressive down the left and found the net against Tahiti. Troubled by Pedro. B+

5. Efe Ambrose – Adventurous at times down the right flank and looked more suited to this position. Caught for pace and positioning against Jordi Alba. A balance must be struck. C+

6. Azbuike Egwuekwe – Replaced the injured Omeruo early on against Spain. Looked a little clumsy, but renewed competent partnership with Oboabona. C+

12. Solomon Kwambe – Still waiting to build on his exciting minutes to date with the national side. n/a

21. Francis Benjamin – Unused. n/a

22. Kenneth Omeruo – Continuing his development at this level, looking assured and composed as previously. A little flustered by Tahiti’s attack in the early stages, but settled before injury against Spain. B


4. John Ogu – Replaced Mba for the Uruguay game but couldn’t retain his spot for the final clash. C

10. John Obi Mikel – Nigeria’s finest player and a genuine class act in Brazil, particularly with attacking performances against Uruguay and Spain. Majestic at times in the middle of the park, helping those around him, scored a fine goal against the Celeste. Looked every bit worthy of the No. 10 shirt he wore. A

13 Fegor Ogude – Endured criticism before the tournament, looked a little clumsy against Tahiti, but worked hard as the team’s Rottweiler. Helped the Super Eagles rattle Spain by winning the ball high up the pitch in the final, decisive match. B

"Majestic at times in the middle of the park, helping those around him, scored a fine goal against the Celeste. Looked every bit worthy of the No. 10 shirt he wore."

15. Michael Babatunde – The youngster entered the fray as a halftime replacement for Nnamdi Oduamadi against Uruguay, but couldn’t influence proceedings and was unused against Spain. C

17. Ogenyi Onazi – Crucial central midfielder was injured in World Cup qualifier against Namibia and didn’t make the field, despite hopes to the contrary. A vital loss for Keshi. n/a

18. Emeka Eze – Did not feature. n/a

19. Sunday Mba – Recalled into the team for the Spain game and tested Valdes with a belter, but the worrying decline continues. Struggled to approach anywhere close to his effectiveness at the Afcon offensively, but did contribute to the impressive team pressing against La Roja. C


7. Ahmed Musa – Showed himself to be a dangerous option for Nigeria, particularly when operating on the break and attacking fullbacks with pace. Some of his displays of speed and quick feet were impressive and he swapped flanks effectively. Clearly lacks the nous—at the moment—to make the most of his raw ability, and was culpable for failing to capitalise on a few promising situations. A-

8. Ideye Brown –
Energetic and versatile upfront, playing in the middle and on the right flank. Worryingly wayward with his finishing and composure and his place in the team might be under threat. Failed, repeatedly, to track Jordi Alba in the final clash. D+
"The brightest of the post-Afcon additions, can be a valuable asset to the squad moving forward."

9. Joseph Akpala – Failed to take his chance with the national side and the future doesn’t look too encouraging. Unable to make the most of Musa and Ambrose’s tantalising deliveries and struggled to make an impression. D

10. Mohammed Gambo – Doesn’t deserve to be remembered just for his horrific miss against the Spanish, but is likely to be the case. Wasn’t able to offer anything different. D

14. Anthony Ujah – Time is on his side, but did little to indicate that he belongs at the international level. Missed a hatful during 50 minutes against Tahiti, and didn’t reappear in the tournament. D-

20. Nnamdi Oduamadi – Played less than three halves of football due to injury, but bagged a hat trick against Tahiti and continued his integration into the national side. The brightest of the post-Afcon additions, can be a valuable asset to the squad moving forward. Performances have earned a recall to the Milan first team squad. A-


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