The Super Eagles of Nigeria on Sunday, 13th October, held the Brazilian team to a 1-1 draw at the Singapore National Stadium after a mildly entertaining encounter. Joe Aribo opened the scoring for the Nigerian team in the 35th minute after Victor Osimehen and Moses Simon combined wonderfully to setup Aribo, who scored his second international goal for Nigeria. The first half ended with the Super Eagles controlling the game and Brazil facing a second defeat to only the second African opposition.
However, the Selecao had other plans and three minutes after the restart, Casemiro fired home from close range after he was quickest to react when a Marquinhos header came back off the woodwork. From this point, the Super Eagles found it difficult going forward and it only took the outstretched hands of the Nigerian goalkeeper – Francis Uzoho – to keep Gabriel Jesus’ goal-bound header from gifting the Brazilians a second goal on the 55th minute.
A Jesus’ header crashed against the crossbar again from a corner in the 59th minute with Uzoho well beaten, however, the heroics of the Nigerian goalkeeper landed him trouble after he badly sprained his knee and was eventually stretched out. Young goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye replaced the injured Uzoho and even though both sides kept going at it, neither managed to break. Casemiro later smacked a header off the bar and Coutinho should have scored a cut back with five minutes remaining but the score remained at 1-1.
Reacting to the game during his post-match conference, the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr stated that he was impressed with the performance of his side but admitted that the three-time African champions still have to improve.
In his words;
“It was tough for us as the second game because Brazil would not have wanted to leave Singapore without winning, and it feels very good to know that we can play so well against some of the biggest names in football”.
The result was a huge confidence booster for the Super Eagles, who begin their race to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations with qualifying matches against the Benin Republic and Lesotho next month. It was also a huge improvement from Nigeria’s 0-3 defeat to the Selecao in a friendly match in Abuja on June 2003.