The Super Eagles of Nigeria held the Selecao of Brazil to a 1-1 draw in an international friendly match played at the National Stadium in Singapore on Sunday.
The high profile friendly began in blistering pace, with the Brazilians dictating the tempo of the game. However, Brazil’s dominance was cut short when talisman Neymar Jnr hobbled in the 12th minute due to injury.
With recognized players like Gabriel Jesus, Thiago Silva, Philipe Coutinho, Firmino, Casemiro etc., in the lineup, the Eagles began to pick up confident, putting together strings up passes, with Osimhen, Simon, and Chukwueze unsettling the Brazilians backline.
Moments of sustained pressure paid off when Osimhen held off Thiago Silva to hit a cross-field pass unto the path of Moses Simon who played an easy ball to Aribo after which the Rangers player had to knit together some lovely footwork to skip pass two players and latch home his second international goal in as many matches.
In the 28th minute, Nigeria goalkeeper Francis Uzoho showed excellent agility in parrying out a powerful header by the lively Gabriel Jesus. Two minutes later, Uzoho was again alert to foil a shot by Firmino, and then reacted faster than Philip Coutinho as the ball danced in the box.
The Brazilians came closest to scoring in the 42nd minute when Coutinho’s free kick was inches wide off Uzoho’s far post, as Nigeria held on to their lead at half-time.
As expected Brazil up the ante in the second half and got their reward in the 47th minute from a corner which was headed unto the bar and turned in by Casemiro. The Brazilians would have doubled their lead but were denied by the Francis Uzoho who drew a number of saves to keep the score level.
However, Francis Uzoho was replaced in the 60th minute by Fortuna Dusseldorf goalie Maduka Okoye, after he landed awkwardly.
The Brazilians continued to miss gilt-edged chances with Coutinho and Richarlison the culprits.
Gernot Rohr handed out debuts to Peter Olayinka and Dennis Emmanuel, as the team held out for a 1-1 draw.
GK Francis Uzoho – 7/10
Chidozie Awaziem – 6.5/10
William Troost Ekong – 6.5/10
Semi Ajayi – 7/10
Jamilu Collins – 6.5/10
Alex Iwobi – 4/10
Wilfred Ndidi – 7/10
Moses Simon – 6/10
Joe Aribo – 7.5/10
Samuel Chukwueze – 7/10
Victor Osimhen – 7/10