The Super Eagles of Nigeria were defeated 4-0 early Sunday morning in their international friendly against Mexico at the 77,500- capacity LA Coliseum.
Two quick goals in the first half and two more in the second half saw Nigeria’s winless run in friendly games extended into eight games.
Nigeria’s last win in a friendly match was in March 2019 when they beat Egypt 1-0 with a first-minute goal by Paul Onuachu.
In what was the concluding tie in the 2021 MexTour Series, Hector Hererra gave Mexico the lead after poking in from his team’s first corner kick barely two minutes into the game.
Though Ibrahim Sanusi tried frantically to clear the ball off the line, he could not deny the North Americans their first goal of the game.
While the dust was yet to settle on the first, the fast-paced Mexicans came calling again; opening the Nigerian defence before Rogelio Funes Mori blasted home from close range to make it 2-0 for Mexico.
Though the fast tempo of the Mexicans was slowed down by the Eagles, the CONCACAF giants dominated virtually in all departments of the game.
Nigeria’s first corner kick did not come until the 35th minute but they made little out of it.
That nonetheless, it wasn’t all Mexico in the first half as Nigeria had their own chance late on.
Iwuala had a chance to reduce the deficit late in the first half but his shot at the edge of the penalty box was well-blocked by the Mexicans.
The Enyimba star, who was the captain of the Nigeria team for the night, had another chance moments after but his indecision to shoot on time saw him losing possession.
That miss almost proved costly as Mexico were soon awarded a free-kick they almost scored from.
In the second half, the Mexico team came looking for early goals again.
Despite coming close with their earlier attempts, the Super Eagles keeper, Nwabili, was able to make some saves that kept his team in the game.
However, with the sustained pressure from the Mexicans, the Super Eagles finally caved in for a third goal when Captain Herrera scored off a rebound after Nwabili spilt a save into the path of the onrushing midfielder.
Sunday Adetunji and Jude Stephens were introduced into the game as the Nigerian bench sought to stop the rout but neither could get a face-saving goal for the Super Eagles.
Mexico made a flurry of changes to their team also and it was one of the new entrants Johnathan Dos Santos that sealed the win with his goal in the 78th minute.
While El Tri achieved their aim of ending their preparation for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup with a win, Sunday’s result will be a big disservice for those agitating for more chances for home-based players in the Nigeria national team. The team that lost to Mexico was full of players from the Nigeria Professional Football League.
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