Nigeria Super Eagles of Nigeria continued preparations to the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a 2-1 loss to England at the Wembley Stadium, London, in an international friendly match.
Two first half goals from Gary Cahill at the seventh minute and Harry Kane after 39 minutes sealed the victory for the Three Lions, and a 47th minute consolation from Alex Iwobi was insufficient for Nigeria to leave London avoiding a defeat.
Kieran Trippier had a chance six minutes into the match when he stepped up and curled the ball around the wall but goalkeeper Francis Uzoho to palmed it away for a corner. The resulting corner became the first goal, Gary Cahill converting the corner kick.
Gernot Rohr’s men almost got the leveler 26 minutes into the match, as they sneak in past the Three Lions backline. Unfortunately, Odion Ighalo could not get to a twisting pass before 24- year old Jordan Pickford.
Harry Kane doubled the lead after Shehu Abdullahi carelessly lost possession and the Tottenham Hotspur took advantage, finding space on the edge of the box before smashing it into the bottom corner.
The Super Eagles began the second half with four substitutes that saw the introduction ofd Tyrone Ebuehi, John Ogu, Oghenekaro Etebo and Kelechi Iheanacho, and that brought a lot of spark to the Nigerian side.
Nigeria halved the deficit just as the second half began courtesy of Alex Iwobi’s cool finish after Odion Ighalo had struck the upright. This made Iwobi the first Nigerian to score in an international match against England. All attempts to find the equalizer proved abortive.
Speaking at the end of the match, England Manager, Gareth Southgate said “I think we played really well than in recent games. We were deservedly two goals up in the first half. The period leading up to their goal, they changed their system and we took some time to adjust. But after that we dealt with it well. It was a decent exercise for us to adjust to that.
The Super Eagles have thus had four international friendly matches ahead of the World Cup, recording a slim victory over Poland in Wrowclaw, a draw against DR Congo and two losses against Serbia and England. They take a final trip to Austria where they face Czech Republic on Wednesday.
Nigeria, grouped in Group D alongside Croatia, Argentina and Iceland, begins their World Cup campaign against Croatia on June 16th, 2018.