Angel Correa scored one and made another as Atletico Madrid beat Nigeria’s Super Eagles 3-2 in a pulsating friendly encounter at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Tuesday.
Reigning Europa League champions, Atletico, took home the inaugural GOtv Max Trophy after the game in continuation of the partnership between the Nigerian League and La Liga.
At a packed and festive looking stadium in Uyo, the Salisu Yusuf-led side shot into the lead in the 32nd minute when midfield maestro Kelechi Nwakali turned inside his man and found the top corner from 25 yards, leaving Jan Oblak with no chance.
Atleti’s response was swift, as Ghanaian Trojan Thomas Partey released Correa to beat goalkeeper Femi Thomas with a neat finish two minutes later.
Atleti coach Diego Simeone made a raft of changes at the interval, sending on legend Fernando Torres to great cheers from the packed arena.
And the former Liverpool striker made his mark in the 64th minute by putting his side ahead with a bullet header from Correa’s corner.
The Rojiblancos seemed to be cruising when the Eagles got the equaliser against the run of play in the 80th minute.
A succession of giveaways at the back saw substitutes Tosin Omoyele and Usman Mohammed link up beautifully, allowing the later to leave two defenders in his wake before firing in at the near post.
The crowd was roused to life by the leveller, cheering every touch of the Nigerian team as the game petered out.
But Atleti’s experience came to bear with five minutes left and substitute Vitolo, who swung the game in the second half, freed another substitute Borja Garces to rifle the winner into the top corner.
Torres, a fan favourite, was given a commemorative plaque at the end of the tie, while Correa received the man of the match award.