• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

Mali 2-0 Nigeria: Les Aigles shock Finidi’s Super Eagles men

SEagles

Finidi George’s Super Eagles men suffered a 2-0 defeat to the Les Aigles of Mali in an international friendly match played at the Grande Stade in Marrakech on Friday.

Goals from El Bilal Touré and Kamory Doumbia on either side of the interval handed Mali a memorable win over Nigeria in Morocco.

Nigeria, fresh from their 2-1 victory against the Black Stars of Ghana inside the same stadium four days ago, but Finidi could not make it two wins since taking charge of the Super Eagles team since the departure of Portuguese tactician Jose Peseiro in February.

Mali’s victory was sealed with goals from young talents El Bilal Touré and Kamory Doumbia, as both players scored on either side of the halftime.

The former Ajax star made four changes to the team that secured a 2-1 win over Ghana last Friday, Finidi opted for Moses Simon, Kenneth Omeruo, Jamilu Collins, and Raphael Onyedika to replace Cyriel Dessers, Benjamin Tanimu, Bruno Onyemaechi, and Frank Onyeka.

Despite Nigeria’s attempts to initiate play from the back, Mali’s high pressing forced errors, with Nigeria conceding the opening goal in the 17th minute due to Chidozie Awaziem’s mistimed clearance, leaving goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali exposed to El Bilal Touré’s clinical finish.

Nigeria’s response was hindered by injuries, notably to Moses Simon, who was stretchered off the field and replaced by Dessers. Despite some promising moments, including a chance for the Glasgow Rangers striker, Nigeria struggled to capitalize on their opportunities, lacking precision in the final third.

As the game progressed, Mali remained resolute defensively and capitalized on Nigeria’s shortcomings, with Kamory Doumbia sealing their victory with a late goal three minutes before the final whistle.

The Super Eagles will look to regroup and learn from this experience as they prepare for future fixtures.