Uzoho, Neymar Injured as Nigeria Hold Off Brazil
By Ufuoma Egbamuno
Nigerian goalkeeper Francis Uzoho limping off the Singapore National Stadium, Kallang was the biggest downside on a day the Super Eagles secured a hard fought 1:1 draw against five time World Champions, Brazil.
Scottish based midfielder Joe Aribo continued his brilliant start in the national team with a well taken goal for Coach Gernot Rohr’s side in the 35th minute. He received a clever pass from Moses Simon before ghosting past Casemiro and Thiago Silva in the box to shoot past Brazil goalkeeper, Ederson.
But the goal came after PSG superstar Neymar had limped off in the 12th minute following yet another injury.
Nigeria went into the break with that lead but it only lasted 3 minutes after the restart. Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro reacted quicker after the ball had hit the crossbar to level scores.
And from then on, it was almost a one-way traffic as the Brazilians besieged the Nigerian goal looking for a winner. In one of those attacking forays, Nigerian keeper came off his line to clear the ball and landed awkwardly. He was replaced by Germany based Okoye Maduka who made his debut for the national team.
Bayern Munich’s Philippe Coutinho and Everton’s Richarlison missed several gilt-edged opportunities for the 2002 World Cup winners while Villareal winger Samuel Chukwueze shot straight at Ederson when gifted a rare second-half opportunity for the Super Eagles.
In the end, both teams settled for a draw - a result which pleased majority of football fans who called on the live broadcast, Football Frenzy, on Nigeria Info FM.
Nigeria begin the race to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations with qualifying matches against Benin Republic and Lesotho in November.