Reality Check! Portugal white washes Nigeria in Friendly


Nigeria were outclassed by Portugal at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, as the Super Eagles lost 4-0 on Thursday night in Lisbon.

On the eve of the FIFA World Cup Portugal has once again shown why they are amongst the favourites to lift the trophy in Qatar.

They didn’t even need the services of Cristiano Ronaldo to get the job done in front of their home fans.

The encounter was all too one sided as Nigeria struggled to cope with the technical superiority of the Portuguese and fell behind after just nine minutes as Bruno Fernandez was on hand to score after Diogo Dalot found himself free on the right hand side from a long ball from João Felix to tee up his Manchester United teammate for the opener.

Nigeria tried to respond immediately but could not muster anything in the final third as the Portuguese were happy to control proceedings and knock the ball around patiently waiting for the next opportunity.

Debutant Bright Osayi Samuel was the only positive from the Nigerian defense but was judged to have handed the ball in the box when trying to block a cross and Bruno Fernandes was on hand to coolly and calmly convert the resulting penalty beyond Francis Uzoho.

The game ended 2-0 at half time, and at the start of the second half Fernando Santos and Jose Peseiro made changes with Portugal hauling off four players including the Impressive Fernandes while Nigeria made two changes, sending in Samuel Chukwueze and Frank Onyeka for the uninspiring Ademola Lookman and Wilfred Ndidi respectively.

The wholesome changes at half time did not however change the trajectory of the game, as the Portuguese still held on to possession while Nigeria tried to muster up a response on the counter.

Moses Simon and Samuel Chukwueze were bright in the second half and made use of their pace and trickery, to cause problems for the Portuguese defense and one of those runs yielded a penalty as Diogo Dalot was the culprit for a careless foul in the box in the 80th minute.

With the chance to halve the deficit, Emmanuel Dennis stepped up to take the penalty despite obvious appeals from Paul Onuachu and Troost-Ekong to take the spot kick.

The Nottingham Forest striker missed the spot kick as his efforts bounced off the bar and it was an opportunity missed for the Super Eagles.

Portugal responded almost immediately and two minutes later, they scored the second, Goncalo Ramos was the orchestrator.

The Benfica man got on the end of a pass, beat his man and sent an unstoppable shot down the middle to make it three.

Moments later the hosts made it four as Goncalo Ramos was once again involved and he teed up João Mario who tapped into an empty net after Uzoho was left deceived.

With the big win, Portugal head to the World cup in Qatar in high spirits ahead of their group opener against Ghana.

Meanwhile, for Nigeria it proves to be a humbling reality check that the Super Eagles aren’t perhaps ready to compete among the best in the World.


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