Super Eagles of Nigeria fell to a 1-0 loss to Ecuador in an international friendly match in the early hours of Friday 3rd June 2022 at the Red Bull arena in New Jersey.
There was only one change to the Super Eagles starting XI from the 2-1 loss to Mexico . Super Eagles manager Jose Paseiro trusted Katsina United Midfielder Sani Faisal for his full international bow in the holding midfield role in place of injured Innocent Bonke.
Three minutes into the game, Angel Mena’s cross was met by Pervis Estupinañ . The Defender headed past Goalkeeper Francis Uzoho to put world cup bound Ecuador in front.
After going behind early in a second straight game, the Super Eagles took charge of possession but did little to trouble the opposition defence. It was the Ecuadorians who came close to doubling their lead with Angel Mena’s shot missing the target by few inches in the 11th minute.
Francis Uzoho was alert to push away Cifuentes shot In the 21st minute . Seven minutes later Alex Iwobi’s through ball set up Cyril Dessers but the Nigerian forwards finish was saved by Alexander Dominguez. The resultant corner kick produced two others as the Nigerian team pushed for an equalizer.
A balanced final 15 minutes to the first half did not produce any real chance . The half finished 1-0 in Favour of Ecuador.
Both coaches opted for changes before the commencement of the second half. Super Eagles manager Jose Paseiro took off Sani Faisal and Chidozie Awaziem for Emmanuel Dennis and Ola Aina. Ecuador made one change with Byron Castillo replacing Angel Preciado .
Ecuador created the first chance of the half with Caicedo shooting at Francis Uzoho in the 48th minute . The Nigerian Goalkeeper had no problems saving that. Nigeria responded with a spell of possession leading to a Calvin Bassey low cross finding Watford forward Emmanuel Dennis but his effort went wide in the 58th minute .
The Super Eagles dominated for a large chunk of the second half but failed to find a way past the opposition defence . Ecuador were more industrious whenever they got the ball . In the 82nd minute , Pervis Estupinañ came close to doubling Ecuador’s lead with Francis Uzoho saving his first effort before he blasted the rebound over the crossbar.
With the clock ticking and his Super Eagles team heading for a second loss in 5 days, Jose Paseiro sent on Enyimba International football club forward Victor Mboama for Terem Moffi in the 85th minute. It was Ecuador who had the last chance of the game when a shot was saved by Francis Uzoho in the 88th minute .
Four minutes was added on for stoppages after which Referee Ricardo Araya signalled for the end of the match. It finished 1-0 in favour of Ecuador . Jose Paseiro and his Eagles now turn their attention to the 2023 AFCON Qualifiers vs Sierra Leone on 9th June 2022.