On Thursday, June 2, The Super Eagles of Nigeria played a friendly game against La Tri of Ecuador at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. Twenty-five thousand fans filled the stadium. They were mostly in the bright yellow shirts of the Ecuador team. Green and white Nigerian flags peppered the crowd. In the parking lot with music, and a DJ and food, Nigerian fans enjoyed the whole pageantry and friendly interaction with the Ecuadorian fans. It was a whole example of a positive international experience.
This game was the first time both nations had ever played against another. Ecuador took the win in a score of 1-0. Within the first five minutes, Ecuador scored a point after a great cross from Angel Mena and Pervis Estupiñán. Estupiñán scored a free kick after evading his marker Chidozie Awaziem. The Super Eagles did however try to recover and played a good game but were unable to score.
It was a very physical game in the second half, as the Eagles struggled to get the ball in the back of the net.
This is Nigeria’s second loss after failing to qualify for Qatar 2022 WC scheduled for Nov 21 to Dec 18. The Super Eagles lost to El Tri of Mexico in a score of 2-1 earlier this month. Nigeria is now currently ranked at 30th in the FIFA ranking.
“I believe we played a good game,” team captain William Troost-Ekong told the Amsterdam News. “There were a few team members we were told to look out for as we the played the game.”
Ecuador earned their spot to compete in the 2022 World Cup as the final four. They will be placed in Group A along with teams from Senegal, Qatar and Netherlands. Nigeria will compete on June 9 against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone at the MKO Abiola National Stadium in Abuja, Nigeria in efforts to compete in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series.