Nigeria escapes Venezuela scare



Nigeria Super Eagles survived over-choking pressure from Venezuela’s Vino Tintos early this morning to win 3-1 in the international friendly played at Marlins Park, Miami, United States.

Great thanks to early goals in the second half by Brown Ideye and Nosa Igiebor, which gave Nigeria an initial respectable lead before the South Americans fought back gamely to narrow the lead through Frank Fletscher who latched on defensive blunder committed by Godfery Oboaboana in the 70th minute.

But Onazi Ogenyi put in the last goal in the third minute of added time to give Nigeria a flattering 3-1 win.

It could have been a different tale if earlier goals by Venezuela had been upheld. The first was in the 14th minute when the ball hit the back of Nigeria’s net off a header from free kick. But two attackers were offside. But in the second half, another ball found the net when Nigerian had taken the two-goal lead.

But the Venezuela scorer of the goal had handled the ball before firing past Austin Ejide who with Nosa Igiebeor was the hero of Nigeria’s performance.

Great thanks to heroic performance by stand-in captain and goalkeeper, Austin Ejide. He had to make no fewer than six-point blank saves, especially after the Super Eagles’ defence was subjected to constant pressure the moment the Venezuelans pulled a goal back. The defence was under persistent pressure and at a point conceded three corner kicks in a space of two minutes.

But the Super Eagles side was not a complete write-off. Returnee Obafemi Martins tried his pacy game, but seemed faster when he was off the ball. But he proved he was still a force to be reckoned with. He was eventually pulled off in the second half for the controversial Shola Ameobi to make his Nigerian debut.

Thanks to the Newcastle player. He was the architect of Nigeria’s third goal as he completely rounded off a Venezuela defender before laying off a carpet pass for Onazi Ogenyi to finish off in the 93rd minute.

The Super Eagles controlled the midfield in the opening minutes as the trio of Henry Uche, Nosa Igiebor and Ogenyi Onazi exchanged passes with relative ease.

However, the Venezuelans had a different idea that worked out for them as Amorebieta and Rondon terrorised the Eagles from their left side of the midfield thereby exposing the weak and inexperienced Sunshine stars of Akure and Nigeria’s right back, Solomon Kwambe.

Nigeria had the first opportunity to go ahead in the eighth minute but Brown Ideye’s shot sailed across the goalpost after being put through by Nosa Igiebor.

The Vino Tintos of Venezuela responded with a beautiful header off a well-curled free kick in the 14th minute but the goal was ruled out for an offside.

Nigeria’s midfield started to lose possession after Enyimba of Aba’s Henry Uche appeared to have sustained an injury. Coach Stephen Keshi quickly made a substitution by bringing in Adana Demirspor of Turkey’s Raheem Lawal to replace the injured Uche.

On resumption of the second half, the Super Eagles continued to attack and it paid off in the 49th minute when Brown Ideye latched on to a low pull out from the right flank by Kwambe to put Nigeria one goal up.

The second goal came three minutes after when Real Betis of Spain maestro, Nosa Igiebor’s screamer from 30 meters sailed smoothly into the top corner of the Venezuelan’s goalpost.

A schoolboy error by Sunshine Stars of Akure and Nigeria’s defender, Godfrey Oboabona allowed Feltscher of Venezuela to pull a goal back in the 69th minute.

Nosa Igiebor received a yellow card for time wasting when he was replaced by Sunday Mba.

However, there was enough time for SS Lazio of Italy playmaker, Ogenyi Onazi to score Nigeria’s third goal off a beautiful assist from Ameobi in added time.


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  1. Austin Udowelle on

    The bottom line is that Nigeria won with good margin. Pressure or no pressure from the other side is irrelevant. Thank you Eagles.

  2. Chief Akpaniko on

    Super eagles under Clemente Westerhof were known to be a team of MASSIVE ATTACK and MASSIVE DEFENCE controlling the left and right flanks with the likes of Finidi George and co which made other teams shiver. Keshi knows this well. Congrates but not yet the dreaded Super Eagles!

  3. Bravo 2 super eagle, but the new boys needs more exposure for experience. Keshi pls keep up d tempo and do d right thing no matter d pressure. Tnx

  4. Venezuelan massive attack and Nigerian defence was no suprice and no news. Afterall people in a sinking ship has to do their best to salvage it. And we won by a better margin, Congrats Super Eagles of Nigeria

  5. I love my club (chelsea fc) and i love my country ( super eagle) i wish them winning all time. Good news Nigeria won 3-1.

  6. What kind of heart attack journalism is this? The first paragraph makes the whole thing sounds as if the eagles did not touch the ball throughout d 90 minutes. As if the three goals were given by default. Any way God bless Nigeria, and chelsea. one luv.

  7. Ethelbert Opara on

    What does it profit the Super Eagles to have played entertainment football but lost the match. Victory in football game is all about creating and taking your chances. These the Super Eagles did this morning hence, the victory. NFF should arrange for more friendlies to enable the players blend well. Congratulations Nigeria!

  8. We need encouragement, the journalise should know how to talk sometimes, these boys deed a wonderful job and needs our praise. Why are they writing as if we lost the game? 3:1 is not a play matter and the team involved is a football nation team. So we are back to our old days thanks be to God. Up Eagles up Nigeria. We are now waiting for the D day to come.


    I love most of the contributions made above.The problem with us in this country is that we don’t tell ourselves the common truth and can not praise our achievers when they did well, especially in the game of football. If you didn’t watch a match, the only answer you will like to hear is nothing but who won the match? Some of our problems in our various national teams today is been created by some of our so called sports writers and the sports adminstrators who never encourage these players with their coaches rather prefer to recommend for sack when not necessary. I am drawing my conclusion from our super falcons last outing which happened to be the worst ever because they sacked the performing coach Eucharia unjustly. Keshi, well done, super Eagle boys remain blessed and put more effort keep on winning.

  10. I think this is a very unwelcomed reporting. It tells very much how the likes of our local journalists the lawyers and the protest literature and fiction writers portray Nigeria. The Bayana lost in th final with the widest margin in all the games in the tornament, they got to OR Tambo and were received as heroins. I asked myself what they would have done if they had won
    Our local journalist are full of deficit mood and project the same on every Nigerian and every aspects of Nigeria. Such malady needs special cure and i wish reporters like the one who wrote this story would do him or herself a world of good to book an appointment with a psychiatrist.

  11. for me i love brown ideye the guy is a very good player, i love keshi for bringing him to super eagle we need improvement in the team well done all the players that play that match and all the coaching crew, bravo

  12. Well done eagles and keshi. Yet we need more work. I pray God gives the wisdom to assemble a formidable defensive formation, good finishers, good setpiece takers. I belive we have still the likes of ohehe, olise, okocha and Kanus. Good luck Keshi

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