Late Saudi strike denies Super Eagles a fourth straight victory

Late Saudi strike denies Super Eagles a fourth straight victory
Credit: Icon Sport

Nigeria Super Eagles traded tackles with Saudi Arabia in an international friendly on Friday at the Portimao Municipal Stadium in Portugal.

After winning each of their last three games and scoring ten goals, the Super Eagles aimed to maintain their excellent form against Saudi Arabia.

However, Jose Peseiro's men failed to safeguard their lead after Iheanacho scored with ten minutes left to play and eventually conceded deep into added time to draw 2-2 with Saudi Arabia from a Mohamed Kanno's strike.

Let's delve into the game's summary!

Scoreless at the break

Victor Boniface got his first start for Nigeria as he partnered Osimhen and Chukwueze in attack for the Eagles.

Nigeria started well and they controlled the game early on with the first corner of the match going their way.

Osimhen with the first real chance to get the Eagles ahead after a brilliant cross from Onyemaechi in the 16th minute, but his strike went over the bar.

Minutes later, Boniface drew a decent save from Mohammed in goal as Nigeria got their first shot on target.

Around the 28th minute mark, a good pass from Osimhen found Lookman who missed the target.

Two minutes later, a beautiful run by the Super Eagles saw Bruno dink a cross which Chukwueze curled nicely but over the bar again.

And the Lookman had a great chance a few seconds to halftime but the Atalanta man side footed his effort wide!

The Eagles with all the action, shots and possession went to the break goalless in a half characterized by wastefulness.

Iheanacho spared Super Eagles' blushes but was not enough

Some minutes into the second half, Osimhen was replaced in what looked like an injury. Moffi came on for the Napoli hitman.

While Nigeria continued to probe for the opening goal, Saudi Arabia got their noses in front as Salman netted for Saudi in the 60th minute. The goal drew changes as Bright came on for Ebuehi, Iheanacho for Chukwueze and Simon for Lookman.

The substitutes turned the game on its head as Nigeria drew level thirteen minutes later, a wonderful combination by Bruno and Simon along with Boniface resulted in an own goal by Abdulelah.

Super Eagles celebrate goal
Credit: Icon Sport

The Super Eagles continued to push for the second goal and they got it from substitute Iheanacho who scored the second goal to put the Eagles ahead for the first time in the game with ten minutes left to play.

The Eagles saw off the last minutes of normal time! However, deep into added time, Saudi Arabia drew level to snatch victory away from Nigeria who had looked home and dry.

A victory denied in the last seconds of the game by Kanno capped up a disappointing show from the Super Eagles who lacked precision for most of the encounter. Although, it was an entertaining game.

For the Saudis, their run of six straight defeats finally ended, while Nigeria's three-game winning run got halted in disappointing fashion.

Saudi Arabia vs Super Eagles confirmed lineups

Saudi Arabia

Mohammed (GK); Hassan, Abdulelah, Ali, Nasser; Faisal, Abdallah, Hazazi, Fahad; Firas, Abdullah.

Subs

Al-Rubaie; Raghid, Saud, Sultan, Yasir; Muwallad, Salem, Salman, Abdulelah, Sami, Abdulrahman, Kanno, Saleh, Haitham, Marran

Super Eagles

Uzoho (GK); Ebuehi, Ajayi, Bassey, Onyemaechi; Ndidi, Iwobi, Chukwueze, Lookman; Boniface, Osimhen.

Subs

Adeleye; Okoye, Awaziem, Omeruo, Osayi-Samuel; Torunarigha, Aribo, Dele-Bashiru, Onyedika, Simon.

The Super Eagles will next play Mozambique in the coming week as they continue preparations for the AFCON tournament.

This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago

Joseph is a freelance writer who spends most of his time writing engaging football contents. Based in Nigeria, Joseph is a die-hard Real Madrid fan with over 8 years experience in the sports betting space. He has covered football match previews, predictions, and news across leagues in Africa and Europe.