Confederations Cup: Nigeria vs. Uruguay
20 June 2013
Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Netherlands)
19' Lugano; 37' Mikel; 51' Forlan
Nigeria XI: Enyeama; Ambrose, Omeruo, Oboabona, Echiejile; Ogude, Mikel, Ogu; Oduamadi, Ideye, Musa
Uruguay XI: Muslera; M.Pereira, Lugano, Godin, Caceres; Rodriguez, Arevalo, Gonzalez; Forlan; Suarez, Cavani
Diego Forlan was the star of the show as Uruguay picked up their first points of the Confederations Cup, Thursday, thanks to a goal and assist from their 34-year-old centurion.
On the occasion of his 100th appearance for his country Forlan made it a night to remember, first playing a pass through to La Celeste captain Diego Lugano for the opener in the 19th minute and then scoring what proved to be the winner six minutes after the restart.
Having carried the ball up-field on the counter-attack Luis Suarez found Edinson Cavani with a short pass, and Cavani’s perfectly-weighted ball teed up Forlan’s left-footed blast that left Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama with no chance as Uruguay restored their one-goal advantage.
Late in the first half John Obi Mikel had tied things up with a spectacular goal—the Chelsea man swerving through the Uruguay defense, pulling the ball away from Lugano and converting a thunderous finish past Fernando Muslera.
But Nigeria created little else on the night despite taking the play to their opponents throughout the latter stages of the second period.
The Super Eagles are still second to Spain in Group B, but only by virtue of a goal-difference superior to Uruguay’s. They’ll face La Roja in Fortalenza on Sunday while Uruguay will take on Tahiti in Recife.
Assuming they post a resounding victory Uruguay would seem in good shape to progress to the semifinals.