By Semiu Osho in London:
The Super Eagles of Nigeria lost 2-1 to the Three Lions of England in Saturday’s pre-World Cup friendly played at Wembley Stadium.
Goals from Gary Cahill and captain Harry Kane gave England a 2-0 half-time lead before Alex Iwobi reduced the deficit early in the second half.
This is England’s second win against the Super Eagles in three meetings (one draw at 2002 World Cup).
The game was England’s 18th meeting against a African teams, and the Three Lions have won 12 and drawn six
It was a game of two halves as England dominated the first half and deservedly took the lead before the Super Eagles responded with a better second half performance.
Up next for the Super Eagles is another friendly game against Czech Republic in Austria on Wednesday, June 6, while England will face Costa Rica on Thursday.
Francis Uzoho made the first save of the in five minutes as he parried away Kevin Trippier’s well struck free-kick for a corner.
England profited from the corner as Cahill jumped highest and headed into the top corner to put his side 1-0 up.
England almost doubled their lead on 12 minutes but Uzoho made a smart save from Ashley Young’s shot from range.
A minute later Sterling made a smart turn to beat Leon Balogun but saw his chip go just wide.
England continued to create chances and should have gone 2-0 up on 20 minutes but Bryan Idowu made a vital block.
In the 33rd minute England broke off a pass from Young to Sterling whose attempted cross was punched away by Uzoho.
England’s persistent pressure eventually paid off as they went 2-0 up on 39 minutes through Kane whose well drilled low shot on the edge of the Eagles box sneaked underneath Uzoho’s body into the back of the net.
On the stroke of halftime Victor Moses had the Eagles’ first attempt on goal but his left-foot strike was well saved by Jordan Pickford.
At the start of the second half the Eagles made four changes with John Ogu, Tyronne Ebuehi, Oghenekaro Etebo and Kenneth Omeruo all replacing Ogenyi Onazi, Shehu Abdullahi, Leon Balogun and Joel Obi.
The changes eventually paid off as Iwobi pulled a goal back on 47 minutes as he slotted in off Ighalo’s initial effort which hit the post.
The Eagles almost levelled up a minute later but Kane cleared off the line.
Eric Dier went close for England from a corner on 63 minutes only to see his header go just wide.
Mikel tried a long range effort from distance on 69 minutes but Pickford made a good save.
Troost-Ekong came to the rescue of the Super Eagles on 79 minutes as he made a superb block to deny substitute Danny Welbeck who was bearing down on goal.
Marcus Rashford had a chance to extend England lead on 86 minutes from Fabian Delph’s smart cross but his header went just over the bar.