Aleksandar Mitrovic was the hero for Serbia as they cruised to a 2-0 success over Nigeria’s Super Eagles in a pre-World Cup friendly at The Hive Stadium in London on Tuesday.
Mitrovic scored twice as the Serbians put up a better performance than their 2-1 defeat to Morocco last Friday.
It was an unimpressive display by the former African champions despite hanging on for a 0-0 in the first 45 minutes.
The west Africans looked second best for longer periods in the game with Filip Kostic, Dusan Tadic and Mitrovic pressing high up. Nemanja Matic and Luka Milivojević did enough in the middle to gobble up most of Nigeria’s buildup.
Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr opted to rearrange his startlist to the side that defeated Poland five days ago. Ahmed Musa, Tyronne Ebuehi, Ogenyi Onazi and Ahmed Musa started in place of Odion Ighalo, Kelechi Iheanacho, Shehu Abdullahi and Leon Balogun.
Mitrovic was a constant threat to Nigeria in the game. The Newcastle man who is on loan to Fulham should have had a hat-trick.
The striker’s headed attempt was scrambled out by Super Eagles goalkeeper Francis Uzoho though television replays clearly showed that the ball had crossed the line when the stopper scooped it out.
It was a busy night for Uzoho as he had to keep out Mitrovic’s effort and then stuck out his left hand to stop Tadic’s close range attempt from going in.
Twenty-three minutes into the second half, Mitrovic scored. He expertly turned in Filip Kostic’s cross to give Serbia the lead. It was a deserved lead too.
Tadic and Kostic would combine on 81 minutes for the latter to set up Mitrovic to calmly put the ball beyond Uzoho to put the game to bed.
Ighalo who came on from the bench at the start of the second half to replace Victor Moses had the chance to give Nigeria a lifeline from a half chance. His attempt was slightly tipped over by Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic.
Nigeria will face Argentina, Croatia and Iceland in Group D of the World Cup. Brazil, Switzerland and Costa Rica are Serbia’s opponent in the group stage.
© The Predictor