Kelechi Nwakali and Usman Mohammed were on target as the Super Eagles B team lost 3-2 to Atletico Madrid in an international friendly match at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Tuesday.

Eagles striker Samad Kadiri forced Atletico keeper Jan Oblak to a great save as early as three minutes when he beat his marker.

The Spanish side then turned on the screw through Angel Correa who was twice denied by goalkeeper Femi Thomas in the space of eight minutes.

Nigeria were off and running two minutes after the half hour thanks to some inspiration from Nwakali. His well orchestrated screamer beat Oblak.

Atletico instantly replied in the 33rd minute with Correa getting on the score sheet.

Substitute Destiny Ashadi was guilty of a criminal miss from an open net after great work by Samad two minutes before recess.

The entertaining game was all square at the break.

Substitute Fernando Torres missed a great opportunity to push the away team ahead once again shortly after the break. He was well placed for a strike at goal but put his attempt was well taken by Femi.

The reigning UEFA Europa League winners controlled the tie after the interval. Vitolo Machin’s ball found Kevin Gameiro, but Femi made a great save.

That didn’t deter Atletico as they continued to put the Eagles defence under the pump with determined runs and slick footwork.

Salisu Yusuf’s wards were chasing the game again with 25 minutes remaining. Torres led the attack, only this time providing the finish as well. The former Liverpool striker made no mistake as he placed the ball in the corner of the Eagles net.

With the magnificent Tosin Omoyele coming on to the pitch, Nigeria responded in style through as the substitute set up Usman for the leveller.

A draw would have done a makeshift Nigerian side credit but, Borja powered home an 85th minute winner.


Abayomi Ademetan