International Friendly: Regain winning mentality
Francis Uzoho blunders on as Mambas pokes holes in Super Eagles’ readiness for AFCON championship in Portimao, Portugal
Goals by Terem Moffi, Frank Onyeka and Moses Simon steered Nigeria to a 3-2 victory over 10-man Mozambique in their international friendly encounter in Portimão on Monday.
The win in the Portuguese city was the first for the Super Eagles in a friendly match in 55 months, back to March 2019 when Paul Onuachu’s first minute goal accounted for the defeat of seven-time African champions Egypt at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.
The Mambas got in front with a shock goal after only six minutes when Catamo dragged the ball past goalkeeper Francis Uzoho who anticipated the ball in a different direction.
France -based striker Moffi ensured parity in the 19th minute, when he had the last laugh as the Mozambican defenders threw themselves at every shot in their penalty area.
Midfielder Frank Onyeka put Nigeria in front on the half hour, when his measured shot from the edge of the box sailed into the net unhindered.
The Super Eagles, who have adopted the battlecry ‘Let’s Do It Again’ for their quest for a fourth Africa Cup of Nations title come Cote d’Ivoire early next year, dominated afterwards and got a third goal when the irrepressible Moses Simon netted from the penalty spot in added time in the first period.
The southern Africans were bullish in the second period, unhindered by the numerical disadvantage following a red card to one of their players in the first half, and got a second goal through Bangal with 10 minutes into the closing half.
Victory means the Eagles have established a winning mentality ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches starting in November as well as the 34th Africa Cup of Nations taking place in Cote d’Ivoire.
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