The Nigerian national football team has not recorded a win in five games across all competitions against their North American counterparts and will aim to rewrite the history books in California on Sunday
Nigeria take on reigning Concacaf champions Mexico in an international friendly at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in the early hours of July 4.
It’s the Super Eagles’ first game since losing to and later drawing with Cameroon last month.
That Gernot Rohr-led Nigerian side had Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Paul Onuachu, and Terem Moffi but still could not manage to find the back of the net against the Indomitable Lions.
A more daunting task awaits the Eagles in the United States, where a team made up mostly of players drawn from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) prepare to go head-to-head against an El Tri, putting the finishing touches to their plans of defending their Gold Cup trophy.
Mexico handed Panama a straightforward 3-0 thrashing when the sides faced off at the Nissan Stadium on Thursday.
The reigning Gold Cup winners should have little difficulty showing a depleted Nigerian team why FIFA ranked them above heavyweights such as Germany and the Netherlands.
The Super Eagles are yet to win a friendly match since 2019 when they beat Egypt, and their record against Mexico does not suggest that it may change any time soon.
The Nigerian national football team has never defeated Mexico, with the five games between the pair ending in four draws and a solitary El Tri win.
Still, the Super Eagles head into this encounter as the underdog, with the former African champions ranked the 32nd-best male national team in world football, 21 places below Sunday’s opponents.
Date – July 4
Venue – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Kickoff – 4 am Nigerian time
Where to watch – thenff.tv
Live Commentary – Soccernet
Gernot Rohr will lead out the Super Eagles in the absence of Augustine Eguavoen, and it could be a challenge as the Franco-German tactician knows next to nothing about these home-based players picked mainly by others.
He may, however, put his trust in the familiar faces of Enyimba’s goalkeeper John Noble, winger Anayo Iwuala and Abia Warriors’ Adekunle Adeleke.
Mexico possible starting lineup:
Ochoa; Aguirre, Moreno, Angulo, Sanchez; Alvarado, Beltran, Cordova; Martin, Lainez, Antuna
Nigeria possible starting lineup:
Noble; Kazie, Obot, Ndah, Adeleke; Shimaga, Maya, Nnoshiri; Iwuala, Jude, Olawoyin
The full complement Super Eagles team powered by Napoli’s Victor Osimhen would have given the Mexicans a run for their money.
But El Tri are the big favourites here, with coach Tata Martinez boasting a far more experienced team at his disposal at the moment.
They should have little trouble cruising to another comfortable victory – similar to that obtained against Panama – at the full-time whistle.
Tip: Mexico to win, and three or more goals scored.