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Football fans in Uyo, capital of Akwa Ibom State, we’re thrilled as Yusuf Salisu went with a lineup featuring none of the World Cup-bound players while the Spanish team, coming off an Europa League final win over Marseille, opted for a strong lineup.
It didn’t take long for both sides to start pressing offensively. Nigeria were immediately on the front foot, testing Atletico down the right with Samad Kadiri lurking near the box.
After the pressure from the Eagles subsided, Atletico enjoyed dominance for 10 minutes, with Femi Thomas making countless saves.
The first goal of the half was a screamer from Kelechi Nwakali. He received the ball near midfield, casually took a few dribbles, and blasted the ball home.
The Spanish side continued to press but it was Nigeria who came closest to taking the lead before halftime, however, Destiny Ashadi missed a sitter.
In second half, substitute Fernando Torres restored the lead for Atletico after dictating the pace of the game for large spells.
After Tosin Omoyele came into the fray, the game evened out, as the forward was menacing with his speed and skills on the ball. Nigeria looked better and started improving at both ends of the pitch.
In the 80th minute, Omoyele teed up Usman Mohammed who slotted in a classy finish for the equaliser.
The thrilling game was far from finished.
Borja popped up with the heartbreaking winner in the 85th minute and there was no way back for Nigeria.

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