Impressive Nigeria Super Eagles stood their ground in far away Singapore when they held almighty Brazil and South American champions to a 1-1 draw in a friendly match on Sunday. On paper, most football pundits tipped Brazil to win the game given their high-profile players such as but the Eagles proved everybody wrong when at after 30 minutes, the game remained goalless but before the end of the half, Nigeria scored leaving the Brazilians gasping for air.
Sadly, for Brazil, one of their key players, Neymar limped out of the friendly against just after only 12 minutes. The 27-year-old was replaced by midfielder Philippe Coutinho after feeling an injury in his left thigh. Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar also missed this year’s Copa America because of a right ankle injury. He only returned to action two months later. The Brazilian also had a right foot injury in January playing for PSG.
The problem in his fifth metatarsal took kept him off the pitch for almost three months. Neymar also injured his right foot months before the World Cup in Russia in 2018. The friendly could have marked Neymar’s rise to second all-time Brazil top goal scorer. He has 61 goals, one less than two-time World Cup winner Ronaldo.
Meanwhile, Super Eagles Head Coach, Gernot Rohr said he is satisfied with the performance of his players in the 1-1 friendly draw against five-time world champions, Brazil, The three-time African champions took the lead in the 35th minute courtesy of a fine effort from Joe Aribo. Brazil however equalised three minutes after the break with Real Madrid midfielder, Casemiro slotting the ball home after Marquinhos header initially hit the woodwork.
“It was tough for us as the second game because Brazil would not have wanted to leave Singapore without winning, and it feels very good to know that we can play so well against some of the biggest names in football,” Rohr told reporters after the game. We didn’t have our best team here, but our wingers gave Brazil a lot of problems on the counterattack and I am proud of our players. They can have a good future.
“We can still improve in defending set-pieces. We have height, with players as tall as two metres, but we have to be better in the air. It is not enough just to have good size; they need to jump well with good timing. These results are good for African football when Senegal and Nigeria did not lose to Brazil, one of the strongest teams in the world.”