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Mexico vs. Nigeria at Reliant, Houston, 5/31/13

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Last Friday night Nigeria took on Mexico at Reliant Stadium. In the 7th minute of play Nigeria had a chance on goal with the cross but no one was there to pick up the shot, allowing Mexico to dominate the first half of play. Mexico’s Aldo De Nigris took a shot on goal but it deflected from the bar and Nigeria cleared the shot.

In the 12th minute Javier Hernandez received the ball in front of the Nigerian net and passed it to De Nigris who missed the shot. Only minutes later, Nigerian captain and goalkeeper Austin Ejide made a terrific save, blocking De Nigris’ header. Nigeria counterattacked with a goal by Brown Ideye, but the line judges called it off sides.

Mexico’s Pablo Barrera scored the first goal of the game with a cross from the right side of the goal. Mexico faced pressure to step up their game as Barrera received a red card. Brown Ideye converted the penalty shot putting Nigeria tied 1-1 in the first half of play. Nigeria scored another goal before halftime with a goal by John Ugochukwu, which deflected off a player on the Mexican team.

Nigeria missed another opportunity to score, missing a shot on goal in the 57th minute of play. The second half of the game was up and down with opportunities to score for both teams. In the 63rd minute, Brown lost another opportunity when he did not take the shot after the ball deflected off a Mexican player who shot outside the box, hitting the top bar of the goal.

Mexico finally caught up with a goal by Javier Hernandez who shot the ball with an assist by Carlos Salcido in the 70th minute of play. However, it seemed that Nigeria started to fall apart defensively, as Mexico put pressure on them.

Nigeria missed an opportunity to defeat Mexico, causing the game to end with a draw of 2-2. Nigeria will continue to play next Wednesday in World Cup qualifying matches against Kenya in Nairobi. Mexico will take on a tough road, competing in the Confederations Cup in Brazil, World Cup qualifying and the Gold Cup competition.

After the match, Nigerian Manager Stephen Keshi stated that both sides played good attacking football, as I like to play. He also stated that the Mexico team has been together for a while and that it’s a good team. Mexican star forward Javier Hernandez stated, “Houston is very special, and we have very good games here and we created very well- we created a lot of chances,” Hernandez said. “We have no heroes. It’s about the team, and to come back and draw- we are happy.“ Mexico plays their next qualifying match against Jamaica on June 4/th in Kingston Jamaica.

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