Ed Malik, A/November 18, 2022.
Two well-taken goals in each half propelled Portugal to a 4-0 defeat of the Super
Eagles on Thursday in the first-ever senior international clash between both nations, with the Eagles failing to measure up to the 2016 European champions in Lisbon.
Diogo Dalot and Joao Felix ran rings around the Eagles’ defense and set up Bruno Fernandes for the first goal as early as the 9th minute, and Fernandes increased the tally from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute after right back Bright Osayi-Samuel handled the ball as Felix attempted another pull-out.
The Eagles could not respond to the challenge as Ademola Lookman and Terem Moffi were isolated upfront. Moses Simon sashayed into the hosts’ box as the first half wore on but his snap shot was saved by goalkeeper Rui Patricio.
In the second half, Coach Jose Peseiro brought in Samuel Chukwueze, Frank
Onyeka and Paul Onuachu in place of Wilfred Ndidi, Lookman and Moffi. There were a few sparks from the right wing as Chukwueze strove to make his presence felt, but when he escaped the attention of the Portuguese defense after 73 minutes, his shot was blocked by Patricio.
Nigeria earned a penalty in the 80th minute when debutant Osayi-Samuel was tripped in the Portuguese box, but Emmanuel Dennis failed to beat Patricio from six yards with a soft kick.
Portugal, who head to the World Cup finals in Qatar on Friday, saw that as a signal to ratchet up the pressure, and they added two more goals in the 82nd and 84th minute through Goncalo Ramos and Joao Mario as the Nigeria resistance collapsed.