Uzoho and the biggest winners from the USA tour

 

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The Super Eagles lost their first two matches under new boss Jose Peseiro, but there were some positives to take from the games

The Super Eagles of Nigeria lost the first two games of Jose Peseiro’s regime. Nigeria suffered a 2-1 loss to Mexico on the 29th and then succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against Ecuador four days later.

However, despite the losses, some players showed some level of brilliance. Soccernet takes a look at three of these Super Eagles stars.

Alex Iwobi

The Everton man looked rejuvenated on his return to the Super Eagles. Iwobi had an African Cup of Nations to forget, as he got red-carded in the Super Eagles’ loss to Tunisia in the second round.

However, he has since risen from that disappointment, posting brilliant displays for Everton in their Premier League survival battle. Iwobi brought the same form to the Super Eagles, showing great passing ability and awareness.

Iwobi looked sharp in Nigeria’s two games and could have gotten at least an assist if not for the strikers’ profligacy.

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Calvin Bassey

When Calvin Bassey had a cameo in Kumasi at the first leg of the World Cup qualifiers against Ghana, Nigerians credited his sharpness and liked what they saw.

In Abuja, there was a complete turnaround in performance and comments for Bassey who was making his full and home debut. The game went from bad to worse as he was caught off-guard on a number of occasions. He had since bounced back, posting beautiful displays at his club and also earning the plaudits he deserves.

The Rangers man had two very splendid performances for the Super Eagles in the United States. Bassey was a rock at left-back and made it difficult for attackers on his wing. He sneezed a few times, but his presence in defense was clear.

Bassey also had a lot of attacking input, bumping forward occasionally, and whipping in decent crosses. His pinpoint cross which found Dessers in the box was the only assist in Nigeria’s two games.


Francis Uzoho

Uzoho’s mistake was partly the reason why Ghana pipped Nigeria to the Qatar 2022 World Cup ticket. Nonetheless, the Omonia Nicosia man came back stronger with a lot of confidence.

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Uzoho was commanding in the first game against Mexico and the second game was even better, as he made three point-blank saves.

The 23-year-old looked different from the shaky shot-stopper in the game against Ghana, and he was the reason why Nigeria didn’t lose by more than a goal margin in both friendly games.