Mexico vs. Nigeria: Live Player Ratings

Dan Colasimone@@ArgentinaFWContributor IMarch 5, 2014

Nigeria goalie Vincent Enyeama (1) blocks in front of Mexico's Javier Hernandez during the first half of an international friendly soccer match Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
Dave Tulis/Associated Press

Mexico 0 - 0 Nigeria (Full time)


These two World Cup-bound nations face off in Atlanta, Georgia, in what will be one of the final hit-outs for both before squads are named for Brazil.

Mexico have managed to turn around the dismal form they displayed throughout much of their World Cup qualifying campaign, trouncing New Zealand in the intercontinental playoff. They then carried on that momentum with a 4-0 win over South Korea in January.

Nigeria, meanwhile, are on a real high after winning the African Cup of Nations and earning a place at the big show for the fifth time.


First Half

In a thrilling first 45 minutes, Nigeria completely dominated in the early stages, before Mexico worked their way into the contest to take control later in the half.

Despite the 0-0 scoreline at the break, there was plenty of action at both ends, and goalkeepers Guillermo Ochoa and Vincent Enyeama both pulled off a series of sensational saves.

Victor Moses and Ahmed Musa were the biggest threats going forward for Nigeria, but their influence waned as Mexico took control of midfield.

Andres Guardado played a major role in El Tri's midfield resurgence, as he dictated play from the center of the park to take the pressure off his teammates.

Indications are that the second term will contain some goals, but in this form, both goalkeepers will be hard to beat.


Second Half

As is often the case with friendly matches, a host of substitutions affected the rhythm of the game somewhat in the second half.

The brilliant Enyeama came off for Nigeria at the break, but his replacement, Austin Ejide, performed just as well as his predecessor to continue to deny Mexico.

Ochoa, meanwhile, kept up his own sublime form to keep the Nigerians at bay.

Overall, there were fewer chances created in the second term, however, as many of the most impressive attacking threats were removed by the managers.

Both coaches will have learned a great deal from the outing, though, as the time approaches to name their final World Cup squads.



Ochoa 9 9
Marquez 6 6
Reyes 6 6
Moreno 7 7
Aguilar 6 6
Guardado 8 7
Medina 6 6
Herrera 7 8
Montes 6 6
Peralta 6 5
Chicharito 6 5



Enyeama 9 9
Oboabona 6 6
Omeruo 6 5
Ambrose 7 7
Elderson 6 6
Onazi 5 6
Mikel 6 6
Moses 8 7
Musa 8 7
Uchebo 7 7
Emenike 7 7


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