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Super Eagles Beat Mozambique, Win First Friendly In Five Years

Three days ago, they were on the cusp of ending that winless run against Saudi Arabia until Mohammed Kanno’s deflected freekick - at the death - broke Nigerian hearts.


 

The Super Eagles – without hitman Victor Osimhen – defeated Mozambique 3-2 on Monday, marking the Nigerian team’s first victory in a friendly game in five years. 

Mozambique had taken the lead seven minutes into the game via Geny Catamo, raising fresh fears that Nigeria’s winless run in a friendly game may continue.

But OGC Nice’s Terem Moffi shot from close range 13 minutes later to restore parity for the Super Eagles at the Estádio Municipal de Albufeira in Portugal.

While Nigeria continued to dictate most of the play, it was no surprise as they took the lead. Brentford’s Frank Onyeka pounced on a loose ball at the half-hour mark – just at the edge of the box – and fired home! 2-1 to the Eagles!

Eagles Make Advantage Count

Although Mozambique were reduced to ten men after a shirt pull on goal-bound Joe Aribo in the 37th minute, it took Nigeria a few more minutes to get the third goal.

The Mambas of Mozambique conceded a penalty after their player handled Fisayo Dele-Bashiru’s free-kick. Simon Moses stepped up to take it.

His spot kick skidded off the bottom right corner for Nigeria’s third goal of the day. The referee immediately blew the half-time whistle as Jose Peseiro’s charges took a comfortable lead into the dressing room.

When the second half started, both teams tried to get another goal. But it was Mozambique that scored. Faisal Abdul Bangal beat Francis Uzoho in his near goal to reduce the deficit.

Nigeria made some changes in the latter stages of the tie with Sadiq Umar among them. The Real Sociedad striker had an immediate impact. He thought he had scored in the 70th and 84th minutes of the game but his goals were flagged offside.

With four minutes added time after 90 minutes, the Super Eagles held off the East Africans to earn their first victory in a friendly match since a 1-0 win over Egypt in March 2019.

Nigeria had between then and Monday’s game played fifteen friendly matches. But they lost seven and managed to draw eight in that period.

Saudi Arabia Heartbreak 

Osimhen in action against Saudi Arabia on Friday, October 13, 2023. Twitter/@NGSuper Eagles

 

Three days ago, they were on the cusp of ending that winless run against Saudi Arabia until Mohammed Kanno’s deflected freekick – at the death – broke Nigerian hearts. The match ended 2-2.

Following the doubleheader games, Nigeria’s attention now shifts to the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho’s Crocodiles and Zimbabwe.

The Super Eagles will play Lesotho first – at home – on November 13, 2023, before the team jets out to battle the Warriors of Zimbabwe three days later.