Three lessons from Nigeria & Senegal's friendlies against Brazil

Three lessons from Nigeria & Senegal's friendlies against Brazil
William Paul Ekong, Alexander Iwobi and Temitayo Olufisayo Aina of Nigeria celebrates winnining during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals, 3rd and 4th place match between Tunisia and Nigeria at Al Salam Stadium, Cairo, Egypt on 17 July 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Monday Oct 14, 2019. 14:00 identifies three lessons Nigeria and Senegal should take from their respective friendly matches against Brazil in Singapore last week.

The two African nations both held the five-time World Cup winners to a 1-1 draw, as Seleção’s winless run stretched to four matches with their last victory coming in the Copa America final.

While this paints a picture of a very inconsistent Brazilian side, Nigeria and Senegal’s quality shouldn’t be undermined.

African teams are on the up

African teams have over the past few years registered more consistent results against their European and South American counterparts. While the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament should’ve been a successful tournament for the African continent, the continents five representatives all succumbed in the group stages.

This was a huge disappointment following the strides made in both 2010 and 2014, but despite the outcome, there is no denying the quality available for several nations across the African continent with some of the biggest clubs in world football boasting African stars.

What last week’s performances once again showcased against a full strength Brazilian side is that African teams can compete agains the best in the world. That noted, African teams like Nigeria and Senegal need to play against more quality opposition more regularly to continue the upward trend.

Both nations have bright futures

There seems to be a golden age for African football on the horizon with Nigeria and Senegal at the forefront of the continent’s push for world supremacy.

In Joe Aribo, Victor Osimhen and Alex Iwobi the Super Eagles boast three exciting attacking talents, while Krepin Diatta and Ismaila Sarr lead the next generation of Senegalese stars. It is an exciting time to be an African football fan.

Senegal need to capitalise on golden era

Having failed to win a major trophy with their golden era in the early 2000’s, the Teranga Lions are in danger of squandering another golden generation spearheaded by Liverpool forward Sadio Mane.

The Teranga Lions huffed and puffed in the group stages in Russia last year with an opening round win over Poland followed by disappointing results against South Korea and Colombia. The West African nation then fell to Algeria in the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, as their quest for silverware continues.

With one of the strongest African teams ever assembled, Senegal must capitalise or risk squandering a second golden generation within the space of two decades.

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