Coach José Peseiro has lost his first game as Head Coach of the Super Eagles. The team lost to Mexico 1-2 at the iconic AT&T Stadium in Dallas on Saturday night.
The Eagles, playing for the first time since the disappointment of the 2022 FIFA World Cup ticket miss, were without many of the first-team players including Captain Ahmed Musa.
The Mexicans in the opening minutes of the match were cohesive as they were egged on by over 52,000 roaring spectators. This was boosted in the 13th minute when Santiago Gimenez found himself all alone with the Eagles’ goalkeeper Francis Uzoho and steered home despite Uzoho’s valiant efforts to keep the ball away.
The goal boosted the Mexicans as they continued raiding the Nigerian’s goal area but Uzoho and the Nigerian defence by Semi Ajayi, William Ekong and Chidozie Awaziem kept their guard.
Luis Francisco Romo, Captain Andres Guardado, Rodolfo Pizzaro, Jesus Gallardo, Roberto Alvarado and Gimenez constantly tried to add to the lead but the Nigerians held their own.
Peseiro opted for a flexible and interesting 3-5-2 formation, with Moses Simon and Calvin Bassey deployed as wing-backs, and Joe Aribo, Alex Iwobi and Innocent Bonke serving in midfield. Cyriel Dessers and Terem Moffi searched for the goals.
This effort paid off after the halftime when Nigeria equalized in the 54th minute after Calvin Bassey’s superb in-swinger was nodded home by Dessers, with goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota scrambling in vain.
However, the Eagles immediately conceded an own goal in the 56th minute, as Ekong swept into his own while trying to clear the ball from danger.
Home-based professionals Sani Faisal, Victor Mbaoma, Chiamaka Madu and Ishaq Kayode who came in after the first 45 minutes gave a good accounts of themselves.
The Eagles are scheduled to play Ecuador in New Jersey on Thursday at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison.