- Following Nigeria's disappointing 2-0 defeat to Croatia in their opening Group D encounter on Saturday, NAIJ.com x-rays a few number of Super Eagles players that failed to impress
Nigeria's Super Eagles were a shadow of themselves in their opening Group D encounter against Croatia at the Kaliningrad Arena on Saturday.
The three-time African Champions were beaten 2-0 by the Croats with goals from Oghenekaro Etebo and and Luka Modric powering the European team to victory.
It will be recalled that Gernot Rohr's men booked their ticket in this year's global football showpiece, but their performance yesterday night showed that Nigeria were tactically unfit for their opponent.
However, NAIJ.com has taken time to highlight 4 players that were disappointing for the national team in that fixture.
Here are the four players that disappointed in the Super Eagles 2-0 defeat to Croatia
1. Victor Moses
The Chelsea wing back once again showed reasons coach Gernot Rohr should not play him in the offensive role in the next game.
Since the arrival of Antonio Conte to the Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2016, the 27-yea-old has been converted to a full back.
Meanwhile, playing for Nigeria is a different ball game as he seem to big for the coaches to control - hence, he is played as an attacker.
Moses almost was unable to deliver a cross successfully in the game, as his crosses were either too long or blocked by the wall.
He has lost his dribbling ability, yet he was forcing it and that made him concede possession on too many occasions.
The former Wigan Athletic, Liverpool and Stoke City striker fell too many times on the pitch waiting on the match officials to rule in his favour.
2. Odion Ighalo
The China based striker seemed too heavy and non effective all through his time on the pitch as he was unable to record a single shot on target.
He looked like he was being played out of his usual position as the Croatian defenders marked him out of making any contact with the ball in the danger zone.
Ighalo should have been taken out at half time having played the first 45 minutes without making an impact for the team.
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3. John Obi Mikel
The Tianjin Teda midfielder played in front of Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi in the attacking midfield position.
He is not an outright offensive player having played almost 10 years at Chelsea as a defensive midfielder.
The 2013 African Cup of Nations winning player conceded too many possessions and his recovery rate was very poor.
And then, he wasn't too much of a leader he was expected to be, as he was unable to motivate his teammates to fight a little harder after conceding those two goals in the game.
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4. Wilfred Ndidi
The Leicester City rock solid defensive midfielder wasn't at his best for the Super Eagles in that defeat.
It is understandable that he recently just returned to full fitness having being sidelined for a number of weeks.
His first appearance after returning from injury was the 1-0 defeat to Czech Republic in Austria during the team's last build up game.
However, the former Genk player doesn't look fully fit yet as he was unable to win as many tackles as he did for his Premier League club last term.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that Nigeria kicked off their 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign on a losing note following their 2-0 defeat to Croatia on Saturday, June 16.
An own goal from Oghenekaro Etebo and a penalty kick from Luka Modric handed the Croats their first win of the competition.
The result pushed the European giants to the top of the table with three points and two goals while the Super Eagles are at the base with no point and minus two goals.
Super Eagles Score 1:1 with DR Congo Team Simba in Port Harcourt - on NAIJ.com TV