Nigeria edge Ivory Coast in tune-up

Nigeria’s Super Eagles claimed a 1-0 win over the Elephants of Ivory Coast in an international friendly in Pretoria on Monday.

The tune-up game was the last for the Nigerians as they prepare for the 2016 African Nations Championship (Chan).

El-Kanemi Warriors midfielder, Ifeanyi Matthew, scored the winner in the first half as Sunday Oliseh’s men finished unbeaten in their preparations for Chan.

Oliseh preferred Sunshine Stars goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, in goal ahead of Femi Thomas and Okiemute Odah while last season’s second leading scorer in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), Tunde Adeniji, started up front with Osas Okoro and Ezekiel Bassey playing behind him.

Ikechukwu Ibenegbu nearly fired Nigeria in front in the 35th minute. The effort of the Warri Wolves midfielder crashed off the crossbar.

On the stroke of half time, Matthew made no mistake when he scored the only goal of the game.

Oliseh’s team should have been 3-0 up considering their dominance in the second half.

The Ivorians also had a moment that could have counted for them but Ezenwa brilliantly foiled their attempt.

Ibrahim Salau, Bright Onyedikachi, Chisom Chikatara, Usman Mohammed and Prince Aggreh came off the bench to feature against the Ivorians.

Nigeria held on for a 1-0 win in their last tune-up game having earlier beaten University of Pretoria FC 3-0 and drew 1-1 with Angola.

The Super Eagles will start their Chan campaign against Niger Republic on January 18. They also have Guinea and Tunisia to battle against in the group stage.


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