Liberian Listener Sports
Determined to go to Brazil next year and leave their mark on the World Cup, Steven Keshi and his Super Eagles were in London on November 18, to face former world champions Italy in what was a trilling encounter with both sides leveling 2-2.
It was Italy that went ahead first with Giuseppe Rossi timely strike, but Nigeria would reply with two goals in five minutes before half-time. Toronto FC striker Bright Dike scored before Newcastle forward Shola Ameobi brilliant strike put the African Nations Cup champions in front. Looking for an equalizer Sunderland forward Emanuele Giaccherini shot beat the Nigerian goalie in the 47th minute as the clash finished 2-2.
Nigeria went into the contest after dismissing Ethiopia at home in Calabar as they bought their ticket for their fifth World Cup finals.
Keshi also experimented with the squad he drew up against Italy, with only four players that played against Ethiopia in his starting lineup for the Italy friendly.
Mario Balotelli was radiant when he set up set up Rossi in the 11minute and the former Manchester United star left-footed shot beat Nigeria goalkeeper Austine Ejide. But Nigeria realizing what was at state would silenced Italy in the 35th minute when Dike headed Ameobi’s cross past a helpless Sirigu.
Nigerian again would go ahead five minutes on the count when it surprised the Europeans. Italy canceled Nigeria’s lead in the early hours of the second half when Antonio Candreva shot beat Ejide.