So, the Super Eagles surprised a number of fans on Saturday when they came from one goal behind to beat defending AFCON champions, Cameroon. Now, to celebrate this unexpected turn of events, we've decided to highlight the team's most valuable players so far.
There's really no Super Eagles without Ighalo, who is currently one of the top scorers in the tournament. If you didn't feel his impact throughout the group stage, there's no denying that the 30-year-old stole the show in the round of 16, where he scored two goals against the Indomitable Lions.
So far, Omeruo has proven his worth on the team, scooping up the top player spot in Group B at the end of the group stage. That's not surprising at all, given that the 25-year-old stood out in Nigeria's first two games and even went on to score the only goal that qualified the team for the round of 16.
Ighalo may have scored Nigeria's first goal against Cameroon, but it took a persistent effort from Etebo for it to happen, thanks to his forward runs and aggressive pressing. Before the round of 16, he had 34 recoveries under his belt — the highest for any player in the group stage.
Our midfield simply wouldn't work without Ndidi. He has constantly delivered, even getting a chance at a shot against Madagascar. His most significant appearance, however, was in the match against Guinea, where he consistently regained possessions, broke deadlocks and delivered passes.
There's no denying that Chukwueze lit up the pitch once he was introduced as a substitute against Cameroon. He changed the game so quickly that Nigeria scored two goals five minutes after he came on. Thanks to his doggedness, Cameroon's defence was a mess leading up to those goals.