This is a comprehensive guide for those interested in witnessing the senior international friendly match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia. This exciting encounter is scheduled to be hosted in Portimo, Portugal.
The match will be held at the Estadio Municipal de Portimo, the home ground of Portimonense S.C., with seating capacity for approximately 10,000 spectators.
Just under a month ago, the three-time African champions triumphed with a resounding 6-0 victory against Sao Tome and Principe in their 2023 AFCON final-day qualification match in Uyo.
Preview of Saudi Arabia’s Team
In the previous month, Saudi Arabia faced consecutive defeats to Costa Rica and South Korea at St James’ Park during Roberto Mancini’s inaugural international break as their coach. Notably, thirty-one Saudi Arabian players have been summoned to compete in this friendly match against the Super Eagles, with Al-Hilal contributing the most, with a total of 12 players.
Following their disappointing exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup group stage last year, the host team has now endured a streak of six consecutive losses. With the appointment of Roberto Mancini as their coach in August, the Green Falcons aspire to secure their maiden victory in this upcoming match.
Mancini has already unveiled his roster of 31 players for the matches against Nigeria this week and Mali next week. However, it’s widely anticipated that Saudi Arabia may face another defeat, given that the Super Eagles of Nigeria are considered clear favorites for the match.
Notably, Saudi Arabia has called upon thirty-one players for this friendly match, with Al-Hilal contributing the most, totaling 12 players. They are set to face the formidable Nigerian team, renowned for its robust offensive lineup, featuring stars like Victor Osimhen, Victor Boniface, Taiwo Awoniyi, Samuel Chukwueze, Ademola Lookman, and Gift Orban.
Considering this formidable Nigerian squad, another loss for Saudi Arabia is foreseen. The Green Falcons, under the new leadership of Roberto Mancini since August, will be striving vigorously for their first victory against the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Furthermore, the Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia, who will contend with the Mali Eagles four days later at the same venue, have encountered Nigeria at the senior level only once before, and that solitary meeting was indeed a friendly match.
Preview of Nigeria’s Team
Jose Peseiro, the head coach of the Super Eagles, has already extended invitations to 25 players to join the camp in preparation for forthcoming friendly matches against Mozambique and Saudi Arabia. Notably, the Super Eagles, Nigeria’s three-time Africa Cup of Nations champions, have adopted the rallying cry “Let’s Do It Again” to signify their intent.
Terem Moffi, a player from Nice, has received a call-up despite being benched in Nigeria’s recent match against Sao Tome and Principe. Fisayo Dele-Bashiru has also earned his first invitation to the team from Peseiro while still playing for the Turkish Super Lig club Hatayspor.
Following the encounter with Saudi Arabia this week, Nigeria will confront Mozambique in another friendly match in the following week. These preparatory games are crucial as Nigeria gears up for the November 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho.
Historical Encounters Between Super Eagles and Saudi Arabia
The history between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Saudi Arabia is relatively limited. These two nations have crossed paths on the international stage only twice.
The most recent encounter between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia occurred in 2010 in Austria, concluding with a goalless draw. The sole previous meeting was also a friendly match, held on May 25, 2010, at the Alpenstadion in Wattens, Austria, as part of Nigeria’s preparations for the FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa. Nwankwo Kanu captained the Super Eagles during that scoreless contest, and he remains one of only two players to have represented Nigeria at three separate FIFA World Cups.
Officials for the Super Eagles vs. Saudi Arabia Match
FIFA has appointed Portuguese official Luis Godinho as the referee for the international exhibition match between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. Bruno Jesus, Tiago Costa, and Miguel Noguera, fellow compatriots, will serve as Godinho’s first, second, and fourth officials, respectively. Additionally, FIFA has nominated Helder Carvalho and Bruno Vieira to oversee operations in the VAR room.
Time and Venue
The match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia will take place on Friday, October 13, 2023. The kick-off time is set for 5 PM Nigerian time, and the match will be accessible through the official YouTube platform of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
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