Nigeria draw with Greece


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Nigeria dominated possession in the opening minutes, with Emmanuel Emenike winning a corner-kick in the 3rd minute although nothing came off it.

Emenike and Ogenyi Onazi were the standout players for the Super Eagles who looked comfortable on the ball but were however unable to find space to move around the Greeks who looked solid at the back.

Greece threatened with a series of crosses into the Nigerian box in the 8th minute, but the Nigerian defense repelled the threat.

Victor Moses won a free-kick at the edge of the Greek box, but again, nothing came off it as Nigeria continued to move the ball around their zone but failed to genuinely threaten the Greek’s goal, as Odemwingie shot wide from 35-yards in the 16th minute.

Greece finally began to find their rhythm with a series of forays into the Nigerian half. However at the other end , a find save from Glykos in the 25th minute prevented Ahmed Musa from giving Nigeria the lead with a long range effort which went into the bottom right corner.

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Karagounis responded for Greece with a similar effort, but he sent his shot wide. Fetfatzidiz forced a terrific save from Enyeama as the Greeks continued to pile pressure and impose themselves, as Nigeria struggled to get control of the ball.

Emenike was caught offside and Onazi forced anther save from Glykos in the 37th minute. But Nigeria were dealt a blow when when Echiejile suffered what looked like a serious hamstring injury and had to be replaced by Kunle Odunlami in the 41st minute.

Nigeria made changes at the break, with Okechukwu Uchebo and Joseph Yobo coming on in place of Ahmed Musa and Godfrey Oboabona respectively.

The second half continued in pretty much the same fashion as the first, as Emenike intercepted a misplaced pass by the Greeks, but failed to make the opportunity count as a result of poor communication with Uchebo.

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The game remained a ding-dong affair between the two sides who clashed in the group stage of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Nigeria had a genuine penalty appeal turned down by the referee in the 63rd minute as replays confirmed that Victor Moses was fouled inside the box by a Greek defender.

Nigeria continued to struggle with the possession of the ball in midfield as Mikel Obi and Onazi weren't looking very sharp as they were outplayed in midfield by Greeks who continued to attack but were let down by the inaccuracy of their passing and shooting.

Uche Nwofor came on for Emenike in the 76th minute, but it was Enyeama who that was kept on active duty by the Greeks as he denied Giorgios Samaras who shot from close range in the 83rdminute and later stopped the rebound header from Kostas Mitroglou.

At the other end however, Onazi forced a fine save from the Greek goalkeeper with a long range effort, as the game remained goalless after 90 minutes.


Nigeria XI: Enyeama (c), Oboabona, Omeruo, Echiejile, Ambrose; Onazi, Mikel; Musa, Moses; Odemwingie; Emenike.

Greece XI: Glykos; Vyntra, Tzavellas, Moras, Manolas; Samaris, Karagounis, Tachtsidis; Fetfatzidis, Gekas, Christodoulopoulos.