Nigeria: Abysmal Super Eagles Fall to Portugal

The Eagles were below average and poor in the defeat in which Cristiano Ronaldo was missing because of illness.

The Selecao of Portugal defeated the Super Eagles of Nigeria 4-0 in their first-ever meeting, as they make their way to the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

The 2016 European champions scored two goals from Bruno Fernandes in the first half and another two in the second half through Goncalo Ramos and Joao Ramos to defeat a complacent and obviously uninspired Nigerian side.

Portugal played without Cristiano Ronaldo who was absent because of illness.

This was the fifth defeat in seven matches under Peseiro as the Super Eagles continue to reconstruct ahead of the Nations Cup in 2023. The last time the Eagles lost by four or more goals was against Catalonia in December 1998.

Nigeria manager Jose Peseiro handed a debut to Bright Osayi-Samuel, and the Fenerbahce man gave an excellent account despite the unfortunate hand ball that gave the Portuguese the chance to score their second goal.The Eagles started the better as they pressed Portugal in their own half and won the first corner kick of the game, but the Eagles, as is customary now under Peseiro, conceded the first goal in the first 10 minutes of the encounter.

A lofted ball from Joao Felix found Diogo Dalot in lots of space behind the Nigerian defence and the United defender had enough time to look up and find an unmarked Fernandes to smash into the net.

The second was from the unfortunate handball. The Eagles were better in the second half and created more scoring chances which were not taken. Frank Onyeka’s ball to Calvin Bassey in the 60th minute went to nought because no Nigerian forward was anywhere near the ball.

Samuel Chukwueze bamboozled Antonio Silva in the 71st minute, but Patricio was quick off his lines to save with his leg. Uzoho then saved a Felix shot that took a nick off Osayi-Samuel.Nigeria had a golden chance to reduce the tally when Osayi-Samuel chased down a ball and was brought down by Dalot on the edge of the box in the 81st minute.

Substitute Emmanuel Dennis grabbed the ball and despite words in his ear by his teammates disregarded the calls from the bench for Paul Onuachu to take the kick.

The Watford man fluffed his lines as Rui Patricio pushed the kick into the post and the chance was gone.

A minute later Ramos scored and Mario added the fourth from an excellent team move that saw Ramos tee up the Benfica midfielder to seal the win.

The third and fourth Portuguese goals resulted from static defending on the edge of the Nigerian box.

The victory buoys Portugal who face the Black Stars of Ghana in their first match at the World Cup.


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