Nigeria 0 – 3 Spain

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Updated: June 23, 2013

Spain showing that yet again that they can get good results without being as convincing as usual and topping Group B. The score doesn’t reflect how well Nigeria played throughout long periods of the match, now this young Nigeria team can look ahead to Brazil 2014 having played well against Uruguay and Spain.

Nigeria’s evening didn’t start of very well when firstly Iniesta did well to dribble past the Nigeria defence and get a tame shot in from a tight angle having played just over a minute of the first-half, not less than a minute later, Jordi Alba stormed through three Nigeria defenders to get a shot away which made it look like it was going to be a long match for the African side.

Nigeria may have got off to a bad start, but afterwards they did start playing a lot better and creating a lot of chances, most notably John Obi Mikel’s shot from 6 yards out that was blocked by Ramos. That wasn’t the only shot they had, Valdes had a busy match, stopping shots from outside the box coming from the likes of Mba and Akpala. They didn’t only shoot hopelessly from outside the box, they were also putting the ball in the box from free-kicks and getting crosses in. Nigeria’s game-plan seemed to be to press Spain nearly all over the pitch and to not give them any time on the ball, which subsequently worked but the only problem was that it is a tiring tactic and has to be done by players who can endure that throughout a whole match, and not a lot can.

At the beginning of the first-half Spain troubled Nigeria by making neat through-balls and have either Soldado or Pedro run onto them. Soldado had two great one-on-one chances from through-balls but couldn’t make the most of it and both shots were reasonably near the goalkeeper. Another great chance in the first-half was when a low cross from Soldado arrived at Fabregas’ feet and he unluckily managed to hit the post then the ball fell underneath the goalkeeper’s legs.

In the second-half Spain seemed a lot more comfortable in possession, without Nigeria pressing them as much as in the first-half. Nigeria’s defence was a lot more open which enabled Spain to make through-balls in the air and on the ground. Nigeria struggled to create any chances or keep the ball throughout the second-half.

Spain were very comfortable but unable to really threaten the Nigerian goalkeeper. Torres came on in the 60th minute and two minutes later headed home a cross from Pedro after a well worked passing move from Spain. Iniesta started to get even better by making great passes with such ease and basically controlled the game.

Nigeria’s only decent opportunity in the game came when Musa stormed through the Spanish defence and a lucky bounce of a defender fell to Akpala but he failed to finish the awkward bouncing ball.

Just before the 89th minute, David Villa launched a ball up-field and Jordi Alba managed to break from the two Nigerian defenders then took it round the goalkeeper to slot it away calmly and assure Spain’s win.

Heroes

Alba and Iniesta are the

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heroes of this match. Alba because of his two goals and bursting energy to light up the end of any match. Iniesta because of his pure class when playing, his passing was amazing and how he kept the ball, there was one moment where he flicked the ball on to Pedro with the outside of his foot around a Nigerian player which showed how calm and composed he is.

Man Of The Match : Andreas Iniesta

Stats

Possession :

Nigeria 42 % – 58 % Spain

Shots (On Target)

Nigeria 13 (8) – 22 (17) Spain

 

Nigeria

01 Enyeama

02 Oboabona

03 Echiejile

05 Ambrose

22 Omeruo (Egwuekwe, 11′)

10 Mikel

13 Ogude

08 Mba (Ogu, 63′)

07 Musa

08 Ideye

09 Akpala (Mohammed, 71′)

Bookings : None

Spain

12 Valdes

17 Arbeloa

03 Pique

15 Ramos

18 Jordi Alba

06 Andreas Iniesta

08 Xavi

16 Sergio Busquets

10 Fabregas (David Silva, 54′)

11 Pedro (David Villa, 75′)

14 Soldado (Torres, 60′)

Bookings : None

 

Match report written by Seb True

Follow me on twitter @SeBAsTianMrANt

or email me sebb.t@hotmail.com

 

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