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Nigeria to face Portugal in November friendly, three days to World Cup kickoff

18:51 WAT 08/09/2022
Super Eagles, Nigeria
The Super Eagles will take on the Selecao in the high-profile match before the former European champions travel to Qatar

Nigeria will face Portugal in a friendly match in November, three days before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The Super Eagles did not qualify for the World Cup following their elimination in the playoffs by Ghana but have lined a number of high-profile friendlies, starting with Algeria in September before Portugal two months later.

Set to take place at Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon on November 17, the game will be Portugal’s final tune-up match before they travel to Qatar where they will begin their tournament seven days later against Ghana before they take on Uruguay and South Korea in their other Group H ties.

“The match with Portugal will be the first clash at senior men level for both countries, though last year summer, the Super Falcons and the senior women’s team of Portugal fought out a thrilling 3-3 draw in the USWNT Summer Series in Houston, Texas, USA,” Nigeria Football Federation said via a statement confirming the match.

It will be a great test for Nigeria’s Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro given his side will come up against some of the world’s best players led by five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United.

Fernando Santos’ men are seeking to do better than their 2018 outing when they were knocked out of the World Cup by their 2022 group opponents Uruguay in the Round of 16.

Portugal have qualified for the last five World Cups but their best performance over that period came in 2006 when they finished fourth, suffering group stage exits twice and as many Round of 16 eliminations.

The 2006 performance is only bettered by the 1966 tournament when they finished third.

Nigeria, meanwhile, will take on Portugal after facing Algeria on September 27 in Oran following the cancellation of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, initially set for this month.

The Super Eagles were set to face Guinea-Bissau home and away in the Afcon qualifiers during this month’s international window while the Desert Foxes had a date with Niger before the postponement.

Nigeria endured a rough start to 2022, exiting the 2021 Afcon in the Round of 16 before their World Cup elimination in March.

The West Africans, however, recovered to begin their qualification journey to the 2023 continental tournament by beating Sierra Leone 2-1 before thrashing Sao Tome and Principe 10-0 in June.