International Friendly Mexico pip resilient Super Eagles in Dallas

Despite the Super Eagles’ weakened squad, the encounter was a great test for the West African nation.

The Super Eagles’ poor start ensured that the El Tri took control of the game early on and scored the crucial opener.

For long stretches in the first half, the Super Eagles were second best to the Mexicans, who enjoyed the support of the home crowd in Texas.

Nigeria, who had numerous players travel long distances to get to the United States, started with a back three but was beaten in the 12th minute by Santiago Jimenez and conceded many shots to the Mexicans in the early minutes.

In the first half of the game, the Super Eagles had no shots, while the Mexicans had eight, four of which were on target.

In the opening session, Nigeria’s line leader, Cyriel Dessers, struggled to muster any notable moments as the Mexicans quenched the Super Eagles’ attacks and foiled their danger men. Going into the game, the Feyenoord attacker had hardly had enough rest and training sessions.

As the game progressed, the back three of William Troost-Ekong, Semi Ajayi, and Chidozie Awaziem looked good and composed, while Moses Simon and Calvin Bassey at wing-back provided the Eagles with interesting options pushing forward.

Innocent Bonke, Alex Iwobi, and Joe Aribo battled to keep up with the game’s speed in the first but appeared more lively in the final 15 minutes of the first half.

In other times, Terem Moffi, who played slightly behind Dessers, proved to be a solid link between the midfield and attack, receiving the ball and bringing others on nicely.

The Mexicans dominated the early exchanges in the second half, much as they had done in the first.

Nigeria, on the other hand, put together some terrific offensive plays, with Calvin Bassey beating his man before providing an inch-perfect cross for Dessers.

As the Mexican goalie fumbled the ball, the Feyenoord man banged in a powerful header that looked too hot to handle.

Only three minutes after the Super Eagles had restored parity, Mexico took the lead again when William Troost-Ekong scored an awful own goal while defending a cross from a Mexican player.

After an Innocent Bonke injury forced Jose Peseiro’s hands as he tweaked several systems in the squad formation in the second half.

Sani Faisal came on for the injured Lorient star.

After Bonke’s departure, Alex Iwobi sat in the defensive midfield and did an excellent job alongside midfield partner Joe Aribo.

The Nigerians then began to sit deeper in the game and aiming to catch the Mexicans on the break.

Later in the second half, Chiamaka Madu, Ishaq Rafiu, and Victor Mbaoma all came on, with Rafiu looking the brightest of the three.

After replacing Terem Moffi, his deception helped open some openings in the Mexican defense. Mbaoma took over for Dessers, although he was unable to participate in the game due to Mexico’s dominance for long periods of time.

In the 84th minute, Ekong made a fantastic block off a Lainez shot to keep the Super Eagles from losing by a larger score.

Despite the Super Eagles’ weakened squad as evidenced by their formation, the encounter was a solid test for the West African nation , with some fascinating discoveries for the coaches to ponder on.

Nigeria’s next international friendly match will be against Ecuador on Friday. 

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