Nigeria loses 1-0 at home to Uganda
Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama’s 100th international appearance was spoiled as Uganda clinched a late 1-0 win in an international friendly on Wednesday.
Farouk Miya gave the East Africans a surprise victory in Uyo after Enyeama parried but couldn’t keep out his 81st-minute shot.
Uganda was only a late replacement for Bolivia, which pulled out of the game over fears of an attack by Nigeria’s Boko Haram extremist group.
The friendly was meant to start Nigeria’s preparations for 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifying after the 2013 African champion surprisingly missed out on this year’s continental championship.
But there were more problems than solutions for assistant coach Daniel Amokachi, who was in charge of the team while head coach Stephen Keshi continues to negotiate a new contract with the federation.
Nigeria’s attack was toothless until teenager Moses Simon, one of three players making debuts, was introduced in the second half. He had two good chances but couldn’t make the breakthrough and Miya pounced at the other end, with his shot looping into the net after being half-blocked by Enyeama.
“A great disappointment, but this is football,” Enyeama said.
Also on the first night of a week of African friendlies, South Africa beat Swaziland 3-1 after coming to life in the second half.
Like Nigeria, South Africa was missing a string of first-choice players, and Bafana Bafana had to wait until the 50th minute for stand-in captain Thulani Hlatshwayo’s headed opener.
Thabo Mnyamane made it 2-0 two minutes later after being set up by recalled Ajax winger Thulani Serero. Felix Badenhorst pulled a goal back for the hosts in the 66th but Mandla Masango scored South Africa’s third with five minutes to go.
South Africa plays Nigeria this weekend.
Gabon beat Mali 4-3 in a thriller in France as two goals from Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang turned the game around after Mali led twice.
Mali then drew level at 3-3 with eight minutes to go but defender Bruno Ecuele Manga scored a last-minute winner for Gabon, handing Mali coach Alain Giresse a loss in his first game back in charge of the West Africans.
In other African friendlies on Wednesday, Botswana beat Lesotho 2-0, Mauritius and Burundi drew 2-2, and Cameroon won 1-0 in Indonesia.
New African champion Ivory Coast makes its first appearance since winning the Cup of Nations last month when it hosts Angola on Thursday.