The countdown is tighter towards Nigeria’s battle with Brazil in a much-anticipated international friendly this Sunday at Singapore National Stadium, ahead of which The Samba Boys struggled to a 1-1 draw with Senegal on Thursday, in a similar tie that had 20,621 spectators at same venue, megasportsarena.com reports.
It was not smooth sailing for the Samba Boys heading into Thursday’s game against Senegal, as Brazil’s coach, Tite slammed the company that runs his team’s friendly matches’ schedule, after his side were not allowed to train at the venue because the pitch was said not to be in the best shape before the game itself, but his players braved the odds, as they tried laboriously to get a win that never came.
Two incidents erupted during half time of Thursday’s game, as two young fans invaded the pitch in order to get wefies with Neymar and Senegal’s players complained heatedly to the referee, Muhammad Taqi over some of the calls he made during the first half, despite getting a penalty that helped them pull level heading into the break.
It came after Liverpool attacker, Sadio Mane stormed through between two Brazil defenders and was bundled over by Marquinhos and Famara Diedhiou calmly hit home the resultant the penalty into Ederson’s bottom right corner for the equalizer, after The Samba Boys earlier opened scoring in the ninth minute, when Manchester City striker, Gabriel Jesus put Liverpool hitman, Roberto Firmino through for him to clinically finish past Alfred Gomis in The Teranga Lions’ post.
One major talking point from the game is that there was no goal for Neymar to mark his 100th appearance for Brazil, while neither side really threatened to get a winner in the second period, with the PSG star and Everton’s Richarlison going close, as both sides gasped for air in the heat of Singapore and even needed a water break at a point midway through the first half.
It is now left to be seen how the South Americans respond in their next game against Nigeria, who they defeated 3-0 in June 2003, during their first and only ever senior fixture in Abuja and, after 16 years, both teams will square up against each other, this time on neutral ground.
The encounter is scheduled to kickoff at 1pm Nigeria time, ahead of which gates will open at midday and fans would have a chance to watch pre-match activities such as the locker room experience, photo booths and a pre-match music extravaganza.
Nigerian fans hold fond memories of how their under-23 team beat Brazil in the semi-finals of the Atlanta ’96 Olympic Games. In similar historical vein, Lille Metropole of France striker, Victor Osimhen and Villarreal of Spain winger, Samuel Chukwueze also once beat The Samba Nation at under-17 level.
Osimhen and Chukwueze are holding aloft fond memories of how they played key parts in a 3-0 victory for Nigeria against Brazil at Chile 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which they believe will boost their confidence for Sunday’s friendly at full senior level.
The date was November 1, 2015 at Viña del Mar in the north of Chile, with Osimhen netting the Golden Eaglets’ first goal in the 29th minute of the quarter-finals’ clash that showed in clear light that the Nigerian kids were on course to defend the title they won two years earlier at UAE 2013.
However, all that is in history but, heading into this Sunday’s clash, Brazil have won 18 of their last 20 games in all competitions, the latest of which was Thursday’s draw with Senegal, while Gernot Rohr’s Eagles are yet to lose any of their last four friendly encounters.