Lagos - Nigeria's Super Eagles risk qualification into the semi-final of the FIFA Confederations Cup following a 2-1 loss to Uruguay in an evenly balanced Group B encounter played in Salvador on Thursday night.
A goal in each half by captain Diego Lugano and Diego Forlan were enough to give Uruguay the desperately needed three points in order to make their task easier when they face weeping boys Tahiti on Sunday.
Both Nigeria and Uruguay have three points each from two matches played to date, but the the two nations are separated by goal difference and goal aggregate which favour the Africans.
Nigeria, who played more purposeful football in the first half grabbed their solitary and equalising goal of the night through industrious midfielder John Mikel Obi, who cleverly and skilfully slotted home from close range beating Fernando Muslera all systems out in goals for Uruguay.
When it looked certain that the Nigerians would take off the match away from Uruguay, disaster struck them when influential striker Nnamdi Oduamadi suffered an early second half ankle injury.
Oduamadi, who initially grabbed a hat-trick when Nigeria massacred Tahiti
6-1 was crudely fouled by Egidio Arevalo Rios before being substituted in the early minutes of the second half.
The professional foul on Oduamadi worked perfectly well for Uruguay as the Nigerians lacked the much needed firepower upfront to convert slightest opportunities created by their Chelsea midfielder Obi.
Had it not been for some brilliant saves by acrobatic goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, Nigeria could have lost the game by a wider margin, especially towards regulation time.
On Sunday the Nigerians will be facing European and World defending champions Spain in a match which proves a mammoth task for the Super Eagles while Uruguay entertain less effective Tahiti.
A draw for Nigeria would see them pack their bags and return back to Africa while a victory over Spain will present the Super Eagles with a mathematical chance of progressing into the semi-final depending on Uruguay's failure to score the same 6 goals by Nigeria against Tahiti.
Uruguay are assured of victory against struggling Tahiti, but the question is, how many goals will Uruguay fire past Tahiti to outdo the Nigerians?
- CAJ News