International Friendly

Recap: Greece 0-0 Nigeria

Photo: Courtesy of Philadelphia Union



In front of a mostly pro-Greek crowd, Nigeria and Greece battled to a 0-0 draw on Tuesday night at PPL Park. The boisterous crowd of 10,131 was treated to plenty of end-to-end action, though neither side could find the back of the net, with Nigerian Vincent Enyeama the busier of the goalkeepers.

The opening half featured great swings in momentum as first Nigeria, then Greece, took turns dominating the match. For the Nigerians, the danger came from the direct running of Victor Moses (Liverpool, loan from Chelsea) and Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce) and the dynamic, powerful midfield duo of John Obi Mikel (Chelsea) and 21-year-old Ogenyi Onazi (Lazio). But despite spending the first 20 minutes in the ascendancy, Nigeria struggled to find the final ball.

When Greece found their stride midway through the first half, they nearly made them pay.

Ioannis Fetfatzidis, a 23 year-old attacker from Genoa, proved Greece’s most potent attack weapon throughout the match. After putting himself in an early, dangerous scoring position, only to push his shot over the bar, Fetfatzidis turned on the style in the 28th minute, leaving three defenders in his wake as he ran in alone on Enyeama. But holding his ground, the Nigerian keeper did enough to beat away the rasping, near post drive.

With the arrival of the second half, both coaches rang the changes and the match grew stretched, and both teams happily skipped through the midfield as they looked for an opener. Moses made the most of the time and space, but after doing the hard work to beat defenders and find space, he never found the finish for which he was searching.

As time wore down, Nigeria again were forced to call on Enyeama to keep the scores level. When Kostas Mitroglou (Fulham) corralled the ball at the top of the Nigerian box in the 83rd minute, he still had plenty of work to do. Holding play up well, he waited for support to arrive and when it did in the form of Georgios Samaras (Celtic), his back heel sent his teammate in alone. With only Enyeama in front of him, Samaras got power behind his shot, but it was not enough to find the back of the net. Following the stop, Enyeama was quick to regain his feet to claim the follow up header from Dimitrios Salpingidis (PAOK).

With Tuesday’s friendly now in the books, Greece heads to Red Bull Arena where they will complete their World Cup preparations against Bolivia on Friday (8 pm, beIN Sports), while Nigeria heads to Jacksonville for Saturday’s final friendly against the United States (ESPN, 6 pm).

On Friday, PPL Park will be the site of an international friendly between Ireland and Costa Rica.

4 Comments

  1. It still amazes me how underated Vincent Enyeama is. Easily one of the top 10 keepers in the world.

  2. OneManWolfpack says:

    Looked like a nice crowd on hand. Nice to see the support.

  3. Amazing how many never had been to PPL; most had no clue where to park and how to get out of the parking lots. Got into the car and onto the ramp in 7 minutes; helped to have some inside knowledge!
    .
    Lots of Nigerian Supporters in the RE: excellent atmosphere!
    .
    Great to see in the RE how the Greek and Nigerians ran at defenders! Was just amazing to see compared to MLS players who look like amateurs compared to the players last night. It also amazed me how the ball was passed: with much more zip than during a regular PPL game. The players where also much more skilled in trapping the ball that always arrived at a high speed, and at shooting. We did not see many shots but when they did they made that ball fly (couple shots missed by inches).
    .
    Think Moses should have had a penalty towards the end.

  4. Adologie wise says:

    Moses is gud both he need to inprove in long short strick becus nigeria wil get there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

%d bloggers like this: