The Super Eagles of Nigeria fell to a 1-0 defeat against the Teranga Lions of Senegal in their last friendly game ahead of the 2019 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations set to begin on the 21st of June in Egypt.
Nigeria finally lost a competitive game for the first time since a late defeat at the hands of the Albeiceste of Argentina in the final group stage game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The Nigerians have been unbeaten in seven games beating Seychelles, Egypt, and Libya while getting draws against South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The friendly against Senegal was played behind closed doors to ensure that both teams could play without the distractions from the fans and media. The privacy would also have allowed the coaching staff of both sides to make tactical decisions ahead of the AFCON finals where they will be hoping to bring glory to their nations.
A defensive mix up in the 20th minute exposed the Eagles’ defence and Idrissa Gueye capitalized on it to score the only goal of the match. Nigeria came close to drawing level on a number of occasions with Odion Ighalo and Wilfred Ndidi almost leveling proceedings before the interval. The better chances in the second half fell to the Nigerians with Samuel Chukwueze’s close range shot blocked with a last ditch tackle and substitute Oghenekaro Etebo’s free kick on the edge of the box rattling the cross bar.
Nigeria started Daniel Akpeyi in goal while experienced stars like Mikel Obi and Odion Ighalo featured alongside youngsters like Samuel Chukwueze and Samuel Kalu. Senegal started Edouard Mendy in goal with Moussa Wague and Kalidou Koulibaly at the heart of the defence. The Teranga Lions who are ranked as the best team in Africa were without Sadio Mane who is suspended for their opening fixture against Tanzania on Sunday, 23rd of June.
Senegal have never won the tournament and will be hoping to make history at this edition of the competition. They have been drawn in Group C alongside Tanzania, Algeria and Kenya. The Super Eagles are chasing their fourth AFCON title but they have to navigate through Group B where they have been drawn with Burundi, Madagascar, and Guinea.
SENEGAL: Edouard Mendy (GK), Idrissa Gueye, Kalidou Koulibaly, Salif Sané, Moussa Wagué, Alfred N’Diaye, Keita Baldé, Youssouf Sabaly, Krepin Diatta, M’Baye Niang, Ismaïla Sarr
Our final #TotalAFCON2019 build up game has ended.
We lost 1-0 to the Teranga Lions of Senegal in Ismailia.#SoarSuperEagles #Team9jaStrong. pic.twitter.com/e9N9jPGNP4
— ?? Super Eagles (@NGSuperEagles) June 16, 2019
Nigeria’s starting 11
Daniel Akpeyi, Samuel Kalu, Jamilu Collins, Kenneth Omeruo, William Ekong, John Ogu, Wilfred Ndidi, Mikel Obi, Alex Iwobi, Samuel Chukwueze and Odion Ighalo
Substitutions: Collins (Ola Aina), Ogu (Oghenekaro Etebo), Chukwueze (Henry Onyekuru), Iwobi (Moses Simon), Ighalo (Victor Osimhen) and Kalu (Chidozie Awaziem).