Nigeria suffered their second straight defeat, falling 4-0 to Portugal in a friendly match on Thursday at the Jose Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon.Information Guide Nigeria
After only nine minutes, Diogo Dalot found himself in plenty of space on the right and teed up his Manchester United teammate Bruno Fernandes in the box for a 1-0 lead.
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Portugal’s second goal came as a result of a controversial penalty call. Bright Osayi-Samuel, Nigeria’s debutant right-back, was found to have handled the ball when it struck his arm as he turned his back. Fernandes took the lead after 35 minutes, sending Francis Uzoho the wrong way.
Nigeria had a chance to equalize later, but Emmanuel Dennis missed from the spot after Dalot fouled Osayi-Samuel. Before Dennis took the ball and missed, the Nigerian players debated about who would take it. Goncalo Ramos and Joao Mario scored late goals for Portugal.
Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro fielded an experienced lineup that included William Troost-Ekong, Kevin Akpoguma, Calvin Bassey, and Osayi-Samuel at the back, Joe Aribo, Alex Iwobi, and Wilfred Ndidi in midfield, and Moses Simon and Ademola Lookman on either side of Terem Moffi upfront.
While new guy Osayi-Samuel was impressive, Bassey had a forgettable first half, continuously losing his markers. The Ajax Amsterdam player was more offensive than defensive, and it was on one of his runs forward that Dalot found himself in space to score the opening goal.
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Bassey also lost Fernandes on the stroke of halftime, with only poor finishing preventing the United playmaker from putting the game out of reach.
Meanwhile, Simon looked active on Nigeria’s left flank, but his final balls let him down, as he couldn’t make a clear pass into the path of either Moffi or Lookman.
Peseiro made substitutions in the second half, with Frank Onyeka replacing Ndidi, Samuel Chukwueze replacing Lookman, and Paul Onuachu replacing Moffi, but Nigeria lacked flow even when Portugal slowed the tempo, with the Villarreal winger scoring their first goal.
Osayi-Samuel of Fenerbahce was thrown into the deep end in his maiden encounter with his country, but he was undeterred by the opposition, standing firm against any challenge put at him.
He was one of only a few Nigerian players to finish the match with perfect scores.
While Nigeria has many African stars, the lack of understanding among those chosen to face Portugal made them appear far from a star team.
Nigeria will have to wait until March for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, while Portugal will now travel to Qatar for group-stage matches against Ghana, Uruguay, and South Korea.JAMB Result
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