In the second match of Group B in the 2013 Confederations Cup, Nigeria fell 2-1 against an Uruguay side who had to avoid defeat in order to stay alive in the competition. It was far from easy since the Nigerians toyed with a 4-3-3 formation and were successful with it, except for the costly counter that took all three points from their grasp.
Uruguay started out as the stronger side for the first 10 to 15 minutes, but Nigeria then decided to take over, as they held possession of the ball successfully, made the right runs and even took the right shots that were either thwarted by keeper Fernando Muslera or went unluckily out of bounds.
However, creating chances but not capitalizing can sometimes allow opponents to strike first. Uruguay did just that when Diego Forlan‘s low drive across the face of goal was placed home by captain Diego Lugano, who was in the right place at the right time.
Nigeria would equalize later through defensive midfielder John Obi Mikel‘s heroics, when he danced past Lugano and curled a stunner into the top corner past Muslera. He is not known for his scoring or dribbling ability, but he made sure the world found that out.
In the second half, the South American nation put the final dagger into the back of Nigeria’s net when Forlan hit a one timer inside the near post off a through pass from Edinson Cavani. Luis Suarez started the counter when he took the ball from Ahmed Musa, sprinted and passed the ball to Cavani.
Now, Nigeria and Uruguay both sit with three points with the former ahead on goal difference — plus-4. Uruguay has Tahiti next, whereas Nigeria will play Spain. On paper, Nigeria will lose to Spain and Uruguay will defeat Tahiti. However, this game is not played on paper. Watch for these final group games on Sunday — it should be fun.