Alex Iwobi’s second-half consolation was not enough as Nigeria fell 2-1 to England at Wembley Stadium Saturday.
First half-strikes from Gary Cahill and captain Harry Kane ensured England maintain their unbeaten record against the three-time African champions in the penultimate tune-up match for the summer’s World Cup in Russia.
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr gave starts to captain Mikel Obi, Odion Ighalo and Iwobi having rested them for the friendly against DR Congo on Monday, but the team paid the price for a shambolic first-half display despite a much improved performance after the restart.
England coach Gareth Southgate put out what could very well be his starting XI in Russia, and the Three Lions were good value for their lead in a totally one-sided first-half.
Cahill steered in Dele Alli’s corner in the seventh minute after beating Mikel in the air, and after missing a hosts of chances – with Raheem Sterling particularly culpable – Kane doubled their advantage six minutes before the interval with a shot from outside the area that somehow crept under Francis Uzoho in Nigerian goal.
Roh rang the changes at the break, throwing on Oghenekaro Etebo, Tyronne Ebuehi, John Ogu and Kenneth Omeruo and the Eagles were immediately rewarded when Iwobi pounced on the rebound after Ighalo’s snap shot came off the upright.
The game was evenly matched for the remainder of the second period, with half-chances falling to both sides.
Next up for the Eagles is a friendly against Czech, before the travel to Russia for their opening game against Croatia June 16.