By Augustine Akhilomen
Nigeria’s Super Eagles showed some element of class as the team played out a 2-2 draw against Ukraine in Tuesday’s international friendly game at the Dnipro Stadium that saw Joe Aribo nets his debut goal.
The team wasted no time as newly invited forward, Joe Aribo announced himself to the world stage by scoring the first goal in the 4th minute with a simple tap-in via an Alex Iwobi’s cut back. It was the Glasgow Rangers first touch in the 18-yard box.
Nigeria dominated possession after the first goal and could have extended their lead in the 15th minute but the Ukraine goalkeeper was on hand to halt it.
The host, who are top of their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, hardly threatened the Super Eagles goalkeeper as they failed to break Nigeria’s defence.
However, the three-time Africa champions grabbed the second goal of the encounter before the half time break thanks to Victor Osimhen’s penalty, to the delight of the technical crew and players on the bench.
The second half failed to produce the spark that was witnessed in the first half as both teams failed to create goal-scoring chances.
Ukraine dominated possession but could not get the final goal to put the team back into the game as the Super Eagles defence led by captain, William Troost-Ekong stood firmly to prevent them from scoring.
Nigeria’s Francis Uzoho denied the host the chance of reducing the scoreline as he parried a Ukrainian player’s free-kick to the applause of Rohr and fans at the stadium.
Ukraine’s pressure finally paid off as the team reduced the scoreline in the 78th minute through Oleksandr Zinchenko before Roman Yaremchuk leveled the score in the 80th minute for the host.
Nigeria almost responded immediately but Samuel Chukwueze’s shot failed to threated the Ukraine goalkeeper. All efforts for the two teams to net the winning goal proved abortive as the game ended 2-2.