In the battle of the Super Eagles Full backs (on either side) that played out yesterday in Paderborn’s 1:2 loss to Cologne, I take a look at how Jamilu Collins and Kingsley Ehizibue fared. Jamilu Collins (6.7/10) : Although his team lost, Collins was rated quite highly in this encounter that saw him have a very busy match indeed. Paderborn played with a back four with Collins receiving the second highest ratings among his fellow defenders. Playing for 90 minutes, Collins made 1 key clearance and 4 interceptions. He didn’t have to deal with much aerial threats as these were directed into the heart of the defence. As for ground duels, Jamilu won 3 out of 5. Of the overall 79 times that he touched the ball, Collins made 36 accurate passes, attempting 3 long balls and 6 crosses. The heat map generated after the match showed Collins very active pushing away from his 18 yard box as he attempted to make things happen for his club. The 24 year old Kaduna-born defender did not deserve to be on the losing side.
Kingsley Ehizibue (7.1/10): the German-born defender would have loved to venture more forward in this encounter but heat map generated after the match showed that he played safe by spending more time on his own part of the pitch. Playing 90 minutes, Kingsley made 2 clearances, 4 interceptions and 6 tackles as he played his part in securing a lead that helped propel his team further towards Europa league qualifiers. He won 7 ground and 1 aerial duels, enough to help guarantee a favourable outcome. Of the 67 times that his boots kissed the ball, he made 27 accurate passes, 1 cross and 1 long ball. Quoting a Super Eagles fan who watched the match on telly, he wrote afterwards : ‘Kingsley was assured in his tackles. He is fast, strong and made some great decisions. He only lost his man once all game and several times he pinched the ball off his opponent as well as made timely interventions. The description of a “cultured defender” could not be more apt. He will do well in the Super Eagles.’