Peseiro loses successive matches as Super Eagles coach

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THE Super Eagles lost their second friendly in five days, going down 1-0 to Ecuador at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, United States of America this morning, but Nigeria Football Federation President Amaju Pinnick was not dismayed.

It was the second straight defeat for Jose Peseiro since his appointment.

The Nigerian side had begun their two-game USA series with a 2-1 defeat to Mexico in Dallas, Texas on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

In New Jersey, Pervis Estupinan scored the only goal of the match in the third minute and the Eagles could not find the equaliser despite several opportunities.

The Villarreal left-back headed home from close range after evading his marker as a free-kick was swung into the Nigeria box.

The South Americans fully deserved their early lead as they started brightly at the packed 25,000-capacity Red Bull Arena.

Ecuador, who will face African champions Senegal in the group stages of the Qatar 2022 World Cup in November, dominated the proceedings in the moments that followed their goal, forcing the Super Eagles into desperate defending.

The Super Eagles however gradually fought their way back into the game and appealed for a penalty when Terem Moffi felt he was fouled in the Ecuador box while trying to reach a through ball.

Chances fell to both sides midway into the first half, Moises Caicedo coming close for Ecuador and Cyril Dessers unable to convert for Nigeria after being played through on goal.

The Super Eagles were dominant in the second half, creating several scoring chances, but they fluffed them all, with Dessers, who scored against Mexico, the chief culprit.

However, Pinnick lauded the team and insisted he saw progress in their performance.

“I am happy and I can tell you that we fulfilled our objectives of restoring the spirit of the Super Eagles following the failure to qualify for the FIFA World Cup,” he told NFF media.

“We lost both games against Mexico and Ecuador narrowly but we were up for it and never finished on the back foot. The boys gave a good account of themselves in both games.

“Given the number of first-team players that were not available, we have to praise the boys who showed up here and gave their all. They have given us confidence going into the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. The despondency is over and we can now march forward in sure-footed manner.”

The Super Eagles’ next assignment is a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Thursday.

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