Saudi Arabia 2-2 Nigeria: Iheanacho, Boniface shine as Green Falcons force Super Eagles to thrilling draw

Saudi Arabia 2-2 Nigeria: Iheanacho, Boniface shine as Green Falcons force Super Eagles to thrilling draw

  • Nigeria and Saudi Arabia played out a thrilling [2-2] draw in their international friendly match at the Estadio Municipal De Portimao on Friday evening.
  • The Super Eagles were heading to a fourth consecutive victory in all competitions through a fine Kelechi Iheanacho strike, but Saudi Arabia scored late to force a draw.

Nigeria's head coach, Jose Peseiro was ambitious with his 4-4-2 starting lineup as he paired Victor Osimhen and Victor Boniface up front, flanked by Samuel Chukwueze and Ademola Lookman.

The strategy worked well, and it was only down to the Super Eagles' wastefulness that the match was goalless at halftime.

Nigeria dominated the early exchanges and had numerous chances to break the deadlock.

Good interplay between Osimhen and Lookman created openings in quick succession for both Italy-based forwards in the first half, but they struck their efforts over the crossbar.

On the half-hour mark, Chukwueze was also poor with his final shot after Bruno Onyemaechi set him up nicely following a fine run down the left flank.

Osimhen and Lookman continued to look dangerous on the ball, and they both narrowly missed the target moments before the referee signalled the end of the half.

Peseiro was, however, forced to replace Osimhen with OGC Nice forward Terem Moffi barely ten minutes into the second half after the Napoli striker picked up a knock.

And a few minutes later, it got worse for the Super Eagles as Saudi Arabia took the lead against the run of play after goalkeeper Francis Uzoho misjudged the flight of the ball from a direct Salman Al-Faraj freekick.

Peseiro reacted quickly, sending in Bright Osayi-Samuel, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Moses Simon.
The change produced the desired effect instantly.

Simon did great on the flank before he set up Boniface to tuck the equaliser for Nigeria in the 74th minute. The goal would eventually be given as an Abdulelah Al-Amri own goal.

Nigeria, though, were keen on a fourth win on the bounce, and moments later, the three-time African champions took the lead for the first time in the encounter. Substitute Iheanacho grabbed the second goal for the Super Eagles when he fired home a fine strike from the edge of the box.

But deep into stoppage time, Saudi Arabia equalised as the Green Falcons avoided defeat for the first time in seven matches.

Nigeria will take on Mozambique on Monday in another friendly match as the Eagles continue their preparation for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers in November. 

What did you think of the match ? Leave a comment or reaction below

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1 comment

Is not good for them to allewd them to equalized that game, they should learn how to defend, in diemunite

D-Generous

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