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HomeSportFriendly match: Wasteful S' Eagles held to 2-2 draw by Saudi Arabia

Friendly match: Wasteful S’ Eagles held to 2-2 draw by Saudi Arabia

Friendly match: Wasteful S' Eagles held to 2-2 draw by Saudi Arabia

 

Friendly match: Wasteful S’ Eagles held to 2-2 draw by Saudi Arabia

The Super Eagles paid the price for a catalogue of missed chances, as they were held to a 2-2 draw by the Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia in Portimao, Portugal on Friday.

The Super Eagles and the Green Falcons could not be separated at the end of their second-ever meeting in a friendly at the Estadio Municipal de Portimao.

The three-time Asian champions netted a last-gasp equaliser from a free-kick at the edge of the box that deflected off Calvin Bassey to ensure that the game ended in a draw.

Victor Osimhen, Ademola Lookman and Samuel Chukwueze had first-half chances to put the Super Eagles ahead but failed to take their chances.

They were left to rue their chances as the Saudis, who had lost their last six matches in all competitions took a shock lead on the hour mark.

This was when goalkeeper Francis Uzoho palmed the ball into his own net from a free-kick way out on the right flank by Salman Al Faraj.

Coach Jose Peseiro introduced Terem Moffi for the injured Osimhen, and brought in Bright Osayi-Samuel, Kelechi Iheanacho and Moses Simon to relieve Tyronne Ebuehi, Lookman and Chukwueze.

This appeared to improve Nigeria’s lot at the fore, as Iheanacho and Simon rattled the Falcons’ defence at will, and Simon was the architect of Nigeria’s equaliser.

He did a yeoman’s job to lay the ball to Victor Boniface to score what appeared to be his first Nigeria goal from a tight angle in the 73rd minute.

The goal was however later adjudged to be an own-goal.

Eight minutes later, Iheanacho drove the ball powerfully into the net beyond the flailing hands of the Falcons’ goalie, after Moffi and Simon combined to put the opposing defence in knots.

The game came less than 24 hours after the Super Eagles learnt they would be playing hosts Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau and Equatorial Guinea in the group phase at the Africa Cup of Nations in January.

It was also barely 48 hours after they adopted ‘Let’s Do It Again’ as their mantra for the trophy quest in Cote d’Ivoire.

The Super Eagles will on Monday take on the Mambas of Mozambique in another friendly encounter at the same venue, before 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and Zimbabwe in November.

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