The Super Eagles battled to a comeback 2-1 win over the Republic of Benin to kick off their group stage campaign of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Victor Osimhen and Samuel Kalu scored in both halves to give Nigeria the win

But how did the Super Eagles fare in the game? 

Super Eagles of Nigeria  came back from a goal down to beat Benin 2-1 (Twitter/Super Eagles)
Super Eagles of Nigeria came back from a goal down to beat Benin 2-1 (Twitter/Super Eagles)
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Daniel Akpeyi (Goalkeeper) 

Akpeyi returned to the Super Eagles after his good form for his club Kaizer Chiefs and he didn’t disappoint. He didn't have much to do all game but when he was called into action, he reacted well especially towards the end of the game to help Nigeria to a win. 

6/10

Ola Aina (Right-back) 

Ola Aina was solid for the Super Eagles in the right-back position. He defended his lines well and connected well with Samuel Chukwueze on the right. He was also an offensive threat for the Super Eagles and won the penalty that gave Nigeria the equaliser in the first half. 

7/10 

William Troost-Ekong (Central defence) 

William Troost-Ekong played all 90 minutes as Nigeria beat Benin 2-1  (Instagram/William Troost-Ekong)
William Troost-Ekong played all 90 minutes as Nigeria beat Benin 2-1 (Instagram/William Troost-Ekong)
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ALSO READ: Five things we learnt from Super Eagles' win over Benin Republic

A very fine performance from Troost-Ekong who led the defence all evening in Uyo. He had a last-ditch tackle to prevent what would have been a heart-breaking equaliser from The Squirrels late in the game. 

7/10 

Semi Ajayi (Central defence) 

A good game from Ajayi who was solid and very composed in central defence. Worked very well with Troost-Ekong and made some important clearances in the box. 

7/10 

Jamilu Collins (Left-back) 

Collins was the weak link in the Super Eagles defence on Wednesday. Was caught napping as Benin took the lead and gave the ball away close to the Super Eagles area late on and it took Akpeyi and the crossbar to prevent an equaliser. 

5/10 

Wilfred Ndidi (Defensive midfield) 

He rarely does that for the Super Eagles but against Benin, Ndidi stayed back in front of the defence all game and focused solely on his job, to protect the back four. Played to his strength which made the Super Eagles better in the gritty game. 

7/10 

Joe Aribo (Central Midfield) 

Made his competitive debut for the Super Eagles and gave a good account of himself in the physical battle against the Squirrels. Held the ball very well and was no pushover in the middle. 

6/10 

Alex Iwobi (Attacking midfield) 

Iwobi operated from the No. 10 role and although the game didn’t give him much time on the ball to pick out the passes, he had a busy evening and made some passes which split the Benin defence. 

6/10

Samuel Chukwueze (Forward) 

Started the game brightly and asked a couple of questions of the Benin defence but his final balls failed him. 

6/10 

Samuel Kalu (Forward) 

Samuel Kalu scored Nigeria's winner in the second half (Twitter/Super Eagles)
Samuel Kalu scored Nigeria's winner in the second half (Twitter/Super Eagles)
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At the other end, Kalu handled business and gave The Squirrels’ defence a hard time. He scored a brilliant solo goal in the second half to give the Super Eagles all three points. 

8/10 

Victor Osimhen (Striker) 

Was fiery all game and gave the opposition defence a lot of worries. Made some good runs behind the defence and took his penalty very well to bring Nigeria level. 

7/10 

Substitutes

Chidozie Awaziem (Right-back) 

Came on in the 74th minute to give the Super Eagles fresh legs in defence. He kept his lines well as Nigeria closed down the game.

Moses Simon (Forward) 

Came on for Samuel Kalu around the 78th minute but didn’t get an opportunity to run at the defence. 

Ahmed Musa (Forward) 

Replaced Osimhen with just four minutes to play and kept The Squirrels worried in defence.