As the Super Eagles prepare to kick-off their preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup starting with the upcoming warm-up games against Poland and Serbia, completesportsnigeria.com’s JAMES AGBEREBI relives past friendlies the Eagles played ahead of previous World Cups they participated in……
COLOMBIA 1-0 NIGERIA
April 17, 1994
As part of preparations towards the 1994 World Cup in the USA, the Super Eagles faced Colombia and lost 1-0.
The game which was played in the city of Armenia, Colombia saw Antony de Avila score just three minutes into the game.
On parade for the Eagles were players like Nduka Ugbade, Ike Shorunmu, Monday Agbontaen, Julius Akpele, Ajibade Babalade, Precious Monye and the late Uche Okafor.
SWEDEN 3-1 NIGERIA
May 5, 1994
The Super Eagles faced 1994 World Cup-bound Sweden in another tune up game in Solna, Sweden.
After 90 minutes, the Swedes won 3-1 thanks to goals from Stefan Schwarz (3rd minute) Henrik Larsson (42nd minute) and Klas Ingesson (78th minute).
Wole Odegbami got the Super Eagles’ goal with 15 minutes remaining in the game while Kanu Nwankwo made his Super Eagles debut.
ROMANIA 2-0 NIGERIA
May 25, 1994
Played in Bucuresti, the Super Eagles took on Romania but lost 2-0 despite parading the likes of Peter Rufai, Austin Okocha, Emmanuel Amuneke, the late Stephen Keshi and Sunday Oliseh.
A goal in each half from Ilie Dumitrescu and Dan Petrescu, gave Romania the win.
Dumitrescu scored in the 22nd minute while Petrescu got on the score sheet on 49 minutes.
NIGERIA 5-1 GEORGIA
June 11, 1994
This was the Super Eagles’ last friendly before departing for the United States for the World Cup.
The game which was played at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan, saw the Eagles triumph 5-1.
A brace each from late Rashidi Yekini (11th, 43rd minutes) and Samson Siasia (58th, 60th minutes) and a goal from Mutiu Adepoju (65th minute), secured the impressive win.
JAMAICA 2-2 NIGERIA
Jamaica was one of the teams the Eagles played in preparation for the 1998 World Cup.
The game was played in Kingston, Jamaica and ended in a 2-2 draw.
Samson Siasia and the late Rashidi Yekini were on target for the Eagles in the 34th and 77th minutes.
GERMANY 1-0 NIGERIA
April 22, 1998
The game against Germany was among the most high profile friendlies the Super Eagles had prior to the 1998 World Cup in France.
After holding out their illustrious opponents to a 0-0 first half, the Super Eagles’ defence was eventually breached as they went on to lose 1-0.
Germany’s goal was scored by Andreas Moller in the 58th minute.
YUGOSLAVIA 3-0 NIGERIA
May 29, 1998
After the game against Germany, the Super Eagles faced another European country, this time former Yugoslavia.
The game was played in Beograd in front of 60,000 fans with Yugoslavia winning 3-0 but the game is more memorable for goalkeeper Abiodun Baruwa’s blunder which resulted in the second goal.
Savo Milosevic (44th minute) former Real Madrid star Pedrag Mijatovic (61st minute) and Darko Kovacevic (72nd minute) were the scorers for Yugoslavia.
NETHERLANDS 5-1 NIGERIA
Against the Netherlands, it was a whitewash for the Super Eagles as they lost 5-1.
Played inside the Amsterdam Arena, Patrick Kluivert bagged a brace (60th, 74th minute) while Pierre Van Hooijdonk (77th minute), Marc Overmars (38th minute) and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (32nd minute) also got on the score sheet.
Nwankwo Kanu’s penalty only served as a consolation for the Eagles after Daniel Amokachi was fouled inside the box.
PARAGUAY 1-1 NIGERIA
March 26, 2002
This was the second time the Super Eagles would face Paraguay at senior level following their first encounter in France 1998 which the South Americans won 3-1.
The game which was played at Loftus Road, home ground of English club Queens Park Rangers, saw both sides settle for a 1-1 draw.
Carlos Gamarra gave Paraguay the lead in the 18th minute before Austin Okocha equalised for the Super Eagles seven minutes from the end of the game.
SCOTLAND 1-2 NIGERIA
April 17, 2002
For the first time Scotland faced the Super Eagles but ended on the losing side as they were beaten 2-1.
Julius Aghahowa scored the Eagles’ two goals on 40th and 69th minutes.
Christian Dailly had given Scotland the lead early in the game on seven minutes before the Super Eagles fought back.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 1-2 NIGERIA
May 16, 2002
Another British side that lost to the Super Eagles enroute to the 2002 World Cup was Republic of Ireland.
In action for Ireland were players like Roy Keane, Robbie Keane, Shay Given, Damien Duff and Ian Hart.
Julius Aghahowa (13th minute) and Efe Sodje (47th minute) were the scorers for the Eagles while Steven Reid scored for Ireland in the 69th minute.
NIGERIA 1-0 JAMAICA
May 18, 2002
For the second time, the Super Eagles and Jamaica crossed path but this time the Eagles won 1-0.
Former junior international, James Obiorah scored the only goal of the game in the 48th minute which took place inside the Loftus Road ground.
Ike Shorunmu, Taribo West, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Pius Ikedia, Bartholomew Ogbeche and Eric Ejiofor all featured for the Eagles.
NIGERIA 3-0 KENYA
May 4, 2002
Kenya was the only African team the Super Eagles played in their tune up games towards the 2002 World Cup.
The game saw Vincent Enyeama make his first appearance for the Super Eagles.
Pascal Ojigwe gave the Super Eagles the lead in the 49th minute with further goals from Femi Opabunmi on 55th and Wilson Oruma on 87th minutes.
(SOUTH AFRICA 2010)
SAUDI ARABIA 0-0 NIGERIA
May 25, 2010
This was the first time ever the Super Eagles will face Saudi Arabia at senior level.
Their past encounters was at the U-20 (Saudi 1989 U-20 and Colombia U-20 World Cups) and U-17 (Scotland 1989 U-17 World Cup) levels.
Despite featuring notable names like Nwankwo Kanu, Joseph Yobo, Victor Anichebe, Yusuf Ayila and Chinedu Obasi, the game ended 0-0.
NIGERIA 1-1 COLOMBIA
May 30, 2010
The Eagles met Colombia as part of their preparations for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Carlos Valdes gave the South Americans the lead in the 12th minute before Lukman Haruna equalised for the Super Eagles on 69 minutes.
In goal for Colombia was Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina, while players like Cristian Zapata, Jackson Martinez and Mario Yepes played in the game.
NIGERIA 3-1 NORTH KOREA
June 6, 2010
After arriving South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, the Super Eagles faced North Korea in their final tune up game in Thembisa.
Nigeria raced into a two-goal lead with goals from Yakubu Aiyegbeni (16th minute) and Obinna Nsofor (60th minute) before Jong Tae Sae half the deficit in the 82nd minute. However, Obafemi Martins scored in the 91st minute to secure a 3-1 win for the Eagles.
NIGERIA 2-2 SCOTLAND
May 28, 2014
Once again the Eagles met Scotland in a preparatory game towards a World Cup appearance this time for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Unlike the first meeting which ended 2-1 in favour of the Super Eagles, this time it was a 2-2 stalemate.
Michael Uchebo and Uche Nwofor were the scorers for the Super Eagles who had to come back twice on 41st and 90th minutes respectively.
MEXICO 0-0 NIGERIA
March 5, 2014
Another friendly game the Super Eagles played before jetting out to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup was against Mexico in USA.
Mexico also used the game to prepare ahead of their group clash against Cameroon at the World Cup.
After 90 minutes, both teams cancelled each other out as the game ended 0-0.
NIGERIA 0-0 GREECE
June 3, 2014
In another friendly game held in USA, the Super Eagles took on Greece who were also Brazil bound.
The Greeks were grouped with Cote d’Ivoire at the 2014 World Cup so they had to test themselves against the Eagles.
Both teams could not break the deadlock so they settled for a 0-0 draw.
USA 2-1 NIGERIA
After their last meeting at the 1995 US Gold Cup, USA and the Super Eagles clashed ahead of their trip to the 2014 World Cup.
Once again, it was the Americans who won just like in 1995 (3-2), as a double for Jozy Altidore (31st, 68th minutes) gave them a 2-1 victory.
The Super Eagles goal was scored by Victor Moses from the penalty spot with four minutes left.