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Tuesday was the day the World Cup friendlies unbeaten run of the Super Eagles was completely broken by Serbia at the Hive Stadium in London.

Friendly defeat

Fulham striker, Aleksandar Mitrovic wielded the axe that brought down the Eagles on Tuesday night with a brace in the 68th and 81st minutes. The Super Eagles won against a Messi-less Argentina 4-2 last year, and last week against Poland 1-0. Social-media was agog with praises to the Nigeria senior men’s team for their victories so far. However, the aftermath of Tuesday’s encounter left fans disappointed and wary of the future of the Eagles when they meet an even tougher team in the World Cup. Skipper Mikel Obi was held off and could not make it to the game. Serbia clearly had dominance in Tuesday’s match and their win was very well deserved. Eight minutes into the game, the Serbians had begun their onslaught against the Nigerian side, but Uzoho managed to  palm away Mitrovic’s shot. Nigeria retaliated via Moses in the 11th minutes, but the forward saw his effort drift to the corner off Vladimir Stojkovic. Serbia all-but had the lead 14 minutes into the game but the referee did not see clearly that the ball had crossed the goal line before Uzoho picked the ball so he waved play-on. Nigeria had another chance but Alex Iwobi shot wide after a good play from Moses. At the start of the second half, Moses was substituted for Odion Ighalo, and the following events showed clearly that the Serbians came into the second half more prepared than they were in the first. Ighalo had a good chance for Nigeria in the 64th minute, but his shot on target was deflected over the bar by the Serbian goalkeeper. For minutes later, Mitrovic took advantage of a left-foot strike into the 18’ that the Super Eagles defenders had failed to clear out and he placed it just past Uzoho into the back of the net. One goal up, the Serbians still did not leave much room for the Super Eagles to regroup and in the 81st minute, Mitrovic doubled Serbia’s lead with a second goal. Unable to make any last minute saves, the Nigeria suffered her first friendly defeat 2-0 to in form Serbia.

Results of other Pre-World Cup friendlies so far

Russia 1-3 France Switzerland 6-0 Panama Denmark 0-0 Chile Romania 1-0 Sweden Belgium 4-0 Saudi Arabia Germany 0-1 Brazil Poland 3-2 South Korea England 1-1 Italy Spain 6-1 Argentina   Feature image photo credit:  

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This article was first published on 28th March 2018


Achem Samuel is a writer and a musician, he is passionate about God and also an ardent fan of tech, sports and music.

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