Super Eagles rue missed opportunities in narrow loss to Ecuador

The Super Eagles conceded an early goal but created the better opportunities in the game

Ecuador scored a third minute goal through Pervis Estupinan after Chidozie Awaziem and Sani Faisal snoozed while defending a free kick.

The Ecuadorian left full-back was poorly read while he lurked around the far post and latched on to a poorly defended in-swinger.

Nigeria created the better scoring opportunities in the first half with Terem Moffi controversially denied a penalty in the 13th minute as he appeared to be caught by the Ecuadorian goalkeeper.

The South Americans almost doubled their lead but met a flying Uzoho in goal.

Shortly after Uzoho’s save, Alex Iwobi sitting as a deep-lying playmaker found Cyriel Dessers and played him through on goal but the attacker could only force a save from a distance.

The Super Eagles had another controversial penalty call on the stroke of half time after but the referee looked away.

In the second half, Emmanuel Dennis came in for Sani Faisal who wasn’t impressive while he lasted while Ola Aina replaced Chidozie Awaziem who had a game to forget.

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In the 57th minute, the lively Calvin Bassey found Dennis with an inch-perfect cross at the far post but the Watford forward skied the effort.

A Bassey shot in the 62nd minute led a barrage of chances for Nigeria as the Super Eagles piled the pressure.

Dessers missed another scoring opportunity in the 63rd minute after being played through on goal with the keeper. His attempt to round the Ecuadorian goalkeeper saw him lose footing and miss a glorious opportunity.

Bassey once again was the catalyst as his inviting cross to Simon resulted in a corner.

Semi Ajayi headed over the bar in the 69th minute as the Super Eagles pushed for an equaliser.

Iwobi, Bassey and Simon were constant pressure against the Ecuadorian defense but the Super Eagles’ profligacy became their biggest albatross on the night.

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Uzoho made a late save to deny the South Americans a second goal.

Jose Peseiro must be encouraged with the display which was much-improved and better organised in comparison to the Mexico game.

The Super Eagles will head to Abuja where they will prepare for the 2023 AFCON qualifiers against Sierra Leone and São Tomé and Principé.