Former Shooting Stars of Ibadan youth team player, Akinkunmi Amoo has earned a rush of accolades from soccer fans and pundits alike, following his super-substitute performance for the cadet national team, Golden Eaglets in Saturday’s 4-2 victory against Hungary at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Amoo got off the Eaglets’ bench at a point in which Coach Manu Garba’s were chasing the game, in which they had to romp back from behind twice to earn a crucial opening group win, and soccer faithful were quick to applaud him for the turning point he brought into the Nigerian squad.
The turnaround began for Nigeria when Amoo got off the Eaglets’ bench in the 58th minute and, although team captain, Samson Tijani was voted man of the match for his double strike in the opponents’ net, the sub was recognized by pundits in their match ratings for how instrumental he was in helping Garba’s side overturn the deficit.
Ratings for each of the Eaglets’ players by allnigeriasoccer.com gave Amoo seven marks out of ten, while also noting: “Put up some lovely footwork in the final third after coming on. Showed quite why he is highly rated with the much needed creativity he introduced.”
The Eaglets’ rate card by the popular website read in full – Daniel Jinadu: Was composed and thoroughly exposed by his defenders for the two goals he let in, of which none was his fault. (7/10)
Timilehin Adeniyi: Struggled to provide adequate cover for the defence and will have to work on his primary duties. Scored his side’s third goal after recovering well. (7/10)
Ferdinand Ikenna: Battled well with Andras Nemeth and was much better than his defensive peers. (7.5/10)
Usman Ibrahim: Had a nightmare evening dealing with the pace of Samuel Major earlier on but grew into the clash as it wore on. Scored a textbook header. A bail out goal. (7/10)
Charles Etim: Saw little of the ball down his flank and really was expected to have done more. A hushed performance from Etim. (6/10)
Tijani Samson: Five-star display from the skipper. Commanded the midfield pretty well. Sent Krisztian Hegyi the wrong way from the spot to draw his team level earlier in the first half before thrashing home a brilliant late freekick for his second. (8.5/10)
Monsuru Opeyemi: Didn’t really stamp his authority in the middle of the park and was hooked for Akinwumi Amoo in the second half. (6/10)
Hamzat Ojediran: Had his moments and forced a couple of decent shots when in range.(6.5/10)
Sa’id Mohammed: Got into some decent positions but his shooting often let him down. Strung together some good coordination with his midfielders, however. (7/10)
Olakunle Olusegun: Shooting was uncharacteristically wayward though he kept plugging away and keeping the opposition defence on their toes. (7/10)
Wisdom Ubani: Drew a foul from Donath Orosz in the box and was a victim of some vicious challenges from the opponents. Troubled Hungary with his running and directness. (7.5/10)
The Substitutes – Akinwunmi Amoo: Put up some lovely footwork in the final third after coming on. Showed quite why he is highly rated with the much needed creativity he introduced. (7/10)
Ibrahim Jabaar: Saw his header hooked off the line by Hegyi shortly after replacing Ubani and was an industrious presence up front. (7/10)
Daniel Francis: A very late change.