The Super Eagles of Nigeria rounded up 2018 with a goalless draw in a friendly game against the Cranes of Uganda on Tuesday, November 20 in Asaba.
The game, which was the last of 2018 came just after the Super Eagles booked their ticket to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with a 1-1 draw away at South Africa in the qualifiers on Saturday, November 17.
These are five things we learnt from the game.
1. Samuel Chukwueze shows huge promise
Called up to the Super Eagles for the first time after an impressive start to the season with Villarreal, Chukwueze caught the eye on his debut for the national team.
Chukwueze was arguably the best Super Eagles player on the day with his 45-minute performance. He was very dangerous in the first half, strong on the ball, assertive and eager to take the ball to the opposition, the 19-year-old showed huge promise for the Super Eagles.
2. Ogu highlights his importance with versatile role
Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr called John Ogu ‘an important player’ and the midfield highlighted it with his versatile role against Uganda.
He started as a central defender along with semi Ajayi and switched back to defensive midfield in the second half before he was withdrawn.
It’s not just in the positional switch, it was how good and decent he was in all of these roles.
3. Jamilu Collins fails to convince again
Rohr has remained firm in his belief on Collins for the left-back position yet, the Paderborn 07 payer has failed to convince.
Against Uganda, he wasn’t any better, he was easily beaten and failed to offer anything going forward.
4. Ajayi justifies call-up
Playing in the Championship has not given Semi Ajayi much exposure to Nigerians, so he was relatively unknown when he was called up for the game against Seychelles in September.
The call-up, however, wasn’t out of nothing. The 24-year-old has been solid for Rotherham United so far this season.
In just his second start for the Super Eagles, Ajayi showed solidity and composure in defence to show he can be trusted at this level.
5. Etebo has regressed
Oghenekaro Etebo was one of Nigeria’s best player at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, if not the best but his start to life in England with Stoke City has not gone so well.
He has made heavy weather of acclimatising to life in England and now been helped with injuries. He has been struggling of late and against Uganda, he showed he has far off the level he was during the World Cup.