Coach Sunday Oliseh suffered his first defeat as Nigeria national team handler on Thursday as the Super Eagles were humbled 2-0 by the Leopards of DR Congo in an international friendly played in Belgium.
The Super Eagles started quite poorly and they were punished as early as the 6th minute when Norwich striker Dieumerci Mbokani benefited from slack defending to put Congo in the lead.
The Eagles through returnee midfielder Mikel Obi and Ogenyi Onazi did make some faint attempt to put the Eagles level but their effort did not provide required result.
Instead it was the more purposeful Congo team, that doubled their lead through Jordan Nkololo who plays his club football in France.
Despite a foray of changes by Coach Oliseh to salvage the day, it was the Leopards who looked like they will add to their tally even though that turned out not to be the case.
Congo before today had been playing second fiddle to Nigeria.
A largely home –based Nigeria squad walloped the Leopards 5-2 in a friendly in Abuja in March 2010.
Two goals by Rashidi Yekini (of blessed memory) accounted for the Leopards in a quarter -final match of the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia, just as Yekini had scored the only goal of another quarter -final tie between the two teams in Senegal two years earlier.
Yet, the most memorable clash between both nations was far back in March 1976, when a young Green Eagles’ squad stunned the reigning African champions 4-2 in a Cup of Nations group phase match in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia.
With this defeat Coach Oliseh will need to fashion out a winning formula against Cameroon on Sunday.