Super Eagles lose to Senegal in their last friendly before the 2019 AFCON
After a great run of eight games without defeat, Nigeria has finally lost a match. They played Senegal on Sunday, June 16th behind closed doors at the Hotel Mercure training pitch in Ismailia. This was only their second preparation game in the last two weeks as they are getting ready for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
On June 8th, the Super Eagles played out a goalless draw with Zimbabwe. One notable thing was that John Obi Mikel was once again in the team.
Here is the starting line-up coach Gernot Rohr fielded against Senegal: Daniel Akpeyi in goal; William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo and John Ogu in defence; Wilfred Ndidi as a defensive midfielder; Jamilu Collins, John Obi Mikel, Alex Iwobi and Samuel Kalu in front of the two attackers Samuel Chukwueze and Odion Ighalo.
Both teams agreed to play behind closed doors to make sure no one could scout their tactics for the upcoming 2019 AFCON. Playing against Senegal was to be a great test of their fitness and skill as Senegal is rated by FIFA as the number one African footballing nation right now.
The Teranga Lions weren’t kidding and started the stronger team. They were rewarded in the 18th minute when Idrissa Gueye put the ball in the net behind Akpeyi. This proved to be a decisive strike as the Senegalese won the game.
Coach Rohr made a few substitutions during the match. Ola Aina came in for Collins and Oghenekaro Etebo for Ogu. Henry Onyekuru replaced the youngster Chukwueze and Moses Simon came in for Iwobi. Victor Osimhen played some minutes in the front instead of Ighalo while Kalu was replaced by Chidozie Awaziem.
Ahmed Musa was the interim team Captain in the absence of Mikel who has taken back the Captaincy in the last two friendlies. Him and Iwobi linked well in midfield with some good passing but it just wasn’t Nigeria’s day.
Even though the game was a bust, there were a few key pointers after the match. It seems that, after the last three matched, Rohr has decided that Akpeyi will be his number one goalkeeper.
There was supposed to be another friendly against Senegal on Monday, June 17th but Coach Rohr has cancelled it in order to avoid possible injuries.
The 2019 African Cup of Nations begins on Friday, June 21st with the opening match between the hosts Egypt and Zimbabwe. Nigeria play their first match against Burundi on Saturday, June 22nd.
They will be in Group B with Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar.
For the best betting odds on the 2019 African Cup of Nations visit Betway.