The Super Eagles of Nigeria were held to a 2-2 draw by the Ukrainian national team in Tuesday night’s (September 10, 2019) international friendly match.
In a match which saw the Super Eagles dominate proceedings at the Dnipro Arena, the absence of key players like team captain Ahmed Musa, Wilfred Ndidi, and Kenneth Omeruo was not felt in the game as new invitee, Joseph Aribo, formed excellent partnership in the middle of the park alongside Alex Iwobi and Etebo.
The duo of Semi Ajayi and Troost-Ekong were formidable in the central back, while Ola Aina and Jamiu Collins proved their mettle in the right and left back positions. The trio of Chukwueze, Osimhen, and Kalu in attack troubled the Ukrainian back line.
French-based forward Samuel Kalu, who plies his trade with FC Bordeaux, dazzled past the Ukrainian defense with his exceptional dribbling skills before singling out Alex Iwobi, who assisted Aribo score his first goal for Nigeria in his debut in the fourth minute of the match.
Samuel Chukwueze was denied the chance of doubling the lead for the West African side after Ukrainian goalkeeper Andriy Lunin saved the effort of the Villarreal star. Francis Uzoho was equally brilliant in goal for the African side ensuring he conceded no goal in the first-half.
Another moment of individual brilliance saw Samuel Kaul brought down in the 18 yard box of the Ukrainians by Eduardo Sobol, and the central referee spared no time in awarding a penalty to the Eagles. Red-hot Lille OSC of France striker, Victor Osimhen, stepped forward to convert the resultant penalty into goal in the 34th minute. At the start of the second half, the Super Eagles continued their dominance and Uzoho was forced to make a brilliant save in the 62nd minute after Marloes attempted to score through a free kick.
With 20 minutes left on the clock, coach Rohr made some changes which saw Anderson Esiti replace Iwobi, while Simon Moses was brought in for Samuel Kalu. Ukraine finally broke the spell in the 78th minute after a brilliant move and finish from Zinchenko gifted the host their first goal. Yaremchuk made it 2-2 a minute later to ensure both sides shared the spoils in Dnipro.
Nigeria’s team captain, William Troost-Ekong, was forced out of the game after picking up an injury in the closing stages of the tie and was replaced by CD Leganes of Spain defender, Chidozie Awaziem.
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