Nigeria beat Ethiopia in international friendly
Posted: 4 January 2014 Time: 7:52 pm
Nigeria beat Ethiopia 2-1 in an international friendly played at the Abuja National Stadium on Saturday evening.
The game was the first real test for the Nigerian national team who are set to make a maiden appearance at the African Nations Championship which kicks-off on January 11 in South Africa.
Enyimba striker Ifeanyi Ede gave Nigeria the advantage after scoring in the 3rd minute to put Nigeria in front.
Ede later missed a chance to extend Nigeria's lead, when he failed to connect with a pass from Rabiu Ali in the 27th minute.
The home based Super Eagles continued to dominate their opponents and their persistence paid off when Enugu Rangers holding midfielder Ugonna Uzochukwu struck to double Nigeria's lead.
Nigeria took their two-goal lead into the break, and continued to dominate the game upon resumption of the second half.
But the Eagles could not translate their control of the game into goals, and were made to pay when the Ethiopians pulled a goal back against the run of play, after Chigozie Agbim parried the ball into his own net.
Agbim's own-goal led a section of the over 2000 fans present at the Stadium to call for the introduction of Golden Eaglets goalie Dele Alampasu.
Despite losing their two-goal cushion, Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi made some attacking changes to the team as Gbolahan Salami came on for Abubakar Aliyu, and Christian Pyagbara came on in place of Rabiu Ali.
Neither team was however able to add to their tally when Guinean referee Yakhouba Keita signaled for the end of the game.
Nigeria have now defeated Ethiopia in their last four meetings. The Super Eagles beat Ethiopia in the group stage of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, then went on to beat them over both legs of their World Cup qualifying play-off last year.
Nigeria are expected to depart for South Africa on Tuesday next week.
Nigeria Line-up: Chigozie Agbim; Solomon Kwambe, Kunle Odunlami, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Benjamin Francis; Ugonna Uzochukwu, Rabiu Ali, Hilary Ikenna; Ifeanyi Edeh, Aliyu Ibrahim, Ejike Uzoenyi