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World Cup 2018: The best and worst players from Nigeria v Iceland  

Top 5 / Top 10
6.71K   //    23 Jun 2018, 00:35 IST

A brace from Ahmed Musa saw Nigeria beat Iceland in the Group D encounter at the Volgograd Arena, which re-ignited their hopes of reaching the knockout stages.

The game started off at pedestrian pace, with neither side really turning up the heat. The Super Eagles enjoyed 65% of meaningless possession in the opening half without mustering a shot on goal. The Icelanders didn't penetrate through the opposition defence an awful lot of times but certainly had chances to their name.

In the first few minutes itself, Gylfi Sigurdsson tested the Nigerian shot stopper twice. Chances also fell to the forward duo of Bodvarsson and Finnbogason. The quality of crosses and deliveries were top notch as far as the Vikings were concerned.

However, they began the second half of the game with tenacious intent, registering their first shot just 14 seconds into it. Musa rifled home a ferocious half-volley, off a well-designed cross from Victor Moses. For a side that failed to penetrate through or counter-attack, this was, in many ways, against the run of play.

Since then, the African side did more of the talking with the ball, committing more bodies forward, opening up chances for themselves and knocking at the European side's defence repeatedly. The Nigerians opened up their back line many a time, by raiding the wider areas with quicker passes.

A late penalty miss from Gylfi Sigurdsson pretty much summed up Iceland's second half, which only had a couple of chances invented.

Without further ado, let's take a look at 5 players who endured the most strikingly differing outings -

#5 Best: Francis Uzoho

Stamping his authority in goal

Let's begin with Nigeria's gloveman, Francis Uzoho. The teenager announced himself to the big stage with a well-deserved clean sheet.

He didn't let the occasion get to him and kept his side in the game early on, which is definitely a huge contribution given the way things were progressing in the first-half for the Super Eagles.


He parried away a fantastic free-kick from Iceland's dead-ball specialist, Gylfi Sigurdsson to start things off. Rightly judging the pace, height and dip of the trajectory, he stopped an early threat. A few minutes later, Uzoho positioned himself almost perfectly to grab a tame effort from the same man.

In the second half of the match, he saved a shot taken by Finnbogason from a tight angle. The rest of the game, he didn't really have to stop the shots as they were off target.

He also marshalled and organised a solid, well-structured back line in front of him and helped reduce Nigeria's vulnerability in set-piece situations.

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20 years old. Studious observer of cricket and football. Writer at Sportsmonks and Sportwalk. Former writer at MadAboutEpl, The4thOfficial and Soccersouls.
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