The Super Eagles defeated Mozambique 3-2 on Monday, marking the Nigerian team’s first victory in a friendly game in five years.
Mozambique had taken the lead seven minutes into the game via Geny Catamo, raising fresh fears that Nigeria’s winless run in a friendly game may continue.
But OGC Nice’s Terem Moffi shot from close range 13 minutes later to restore parity for the Super Eagles at the Estádio Municipal de Albufeira, Albufeira in Portugal.
While Nigeria continued to dictate most of the play, it was no surprise as they took the lead. Brentford’s Frank Onyeka bounced on a loose ball at the half-hour mark – just at the edge of the box – and fired home! 2-1 to the Eagles!
Although Mozambique were reduced to ten men after a shirt pull on goal-bound Joe Aribo in the 37th minute, it took Nigeria a few more minutes to get the third goal.
The Mambas of Mozambique then conceded a penalty after their player handled Fisayo Dele-Bashiru’s free-kick Simon Moses stepped up to take it.
His spot kick skidded off the bottom right corner for Nigeria’s third goal of the day. The referee immediately blew the half-time whistle as Jose Peseiro’s charges took a comfortable lead into the dressing room.
On resumption of the second half, both teams tried to get another goal. But it was Mozambique that scored. Faisal Abdul Bangal beat Francis Uzoho in his near goal to reduce the deficit.
Nigeria later made some changes in the latter stages of the tie with Sadiq Umar among them. The Real Sociedad striker made an immediate impact. He thought he had scored in the 70th and 84th minutes of the game but his goals were flagged offside.
With four minutes added time after 90 minutes, the Super Eagles held off the East Africans to earn their first victory in a friendly match since a 1-0 win over Egypt in March 2019.
Nigeria had between then and Monday’s game played fifteen friendly matches. But they lost seven and managed to draw eight in that period.