In a thrilling encounter at the Estadio Municipal de Portimao, Portugal, the Super Eagles found themselves locked in a 2-2 draw with the Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia. The game was marked by a series of missed opportunities, with both teams ultimately unable to break the deadlock.
Despite early chances by Victor Osimhen, Ademola Lookman, and Samuel Chukwueze in the first half, the Super Eagles failed to convert their opportunities. Their missed chances came back to haunt them when the Saudis, who had been on a losing streak in their last six matches, took an unexpected lead in the 60th minute. Goalkeeper Francis Uzoho’s unfortunate palm into his own net from a free-kick by Salman Al Faraj on the right flank put the Saudis ahead.
Coach Jose Peseiro made strategic substitutions, bringing in Terem Moffi for the injured Osimhen, and introducing Bright Osayi-Samuel, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Moses Simon to replace Tyronne Ebuehi, Lookman, and Chukwueze. These changes seemed to revitalize Nigeria’s attack, with Iheanacho and Simon putting pressure on the Falcons’ defense.
Moses Simon played a crucial role in Nigeria’s equalizer, setting up Victor Boniface, who scored what initially appeared to be his first goal for Nigeria in the 73rd minute. However, the goal was later deemed an own goal. Eight minutes later, Iheanacho fired a powerful shot past the Falcons’ goalkeeper after Moffi and Simon created havoc in the opposing defense.
The friendly took place less than 24 hours after the Super Eagles learned their group for the Africa Cup of Nations in January, which includes hosts Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, and Equatorial Guinea. The team had also recently adopted the mantra ‘Let’s Do It Again’ in their quest for the trophy.
Next, the Super Eagles will face the Mambas of Mozambique in another friendly match on Monday at the same venue, followed by 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and Zimbabwe in November.