NIGERIA HOLD FIRM TO DENY BRAZIL

Casemiro’s second-half goal salvaged a 1-1 draw for Brazil in Sunday’s international friendly against Nigeria in Singapore.

In a game of two halves, the Super Eagles largely dominated the first period, taking the lead and looking the more threatening, but found themselves pegged back after the break and were ultimately unable to hold  on to their advantage.

Brazil started the brighter of the two teams, dominating the ball while Nigeria looked to play on the break. A cross by Real Madrid’s Casemiro found Gabriel Jesus free inside the box, but Francis Uzoho was equal to his header, palming the ball wide.

Nigeria’s first big chance came when Alex Iwobi chipped a fine ball into the box. Victor Osimhen did well to nick ahead of Thiago Silva, and tested Ederson with a fierce, left-footed shot which the Manchester City goalkeeper saved low to his left.

Gernot Rohr’s side eventually took the lead, somewhat against the run of play, in the 35th minute. Osimhen made the most of a ball into the channel, and swung in a deep cross. Moses Simon received the ball, before laying it off to the onrushing Joe Aribo. The Rangers midfielder danced past one challenge, and fired low into the bottom corner.

Brazil came out purposefully in the second half, and immediately put the three-time African champions under the cosh. Three minutes after the restart, they levelled.

A corner was worked short, and a teasing cross was headed off the crossbar, with Francis Uzoho beaten all ends up. Casemiro was on hand, and tucked home the rebound.

Tite’s men had the bit between their teeth, and forced Uzoho into a brilliant save down low from a Gabriel Jesus header, before hitting the upright with yet another header from a corner.

However, Nigeria would hold firm to extend Brazil’s winless run to four matches and secure a famous result.

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