Two second half goals by Aleksandr Mitrovic was what Serbia needed to beat the Super Eagles of Nigeria in an international friendly played at the Hive Stadium in London on Tuesday, AOIFootball.com reports.
The defeat means the Super Eagles have lost just two games since Coach Gernot Rohr took the reins 20 months ago.
In the first half, the Serbians created more chances than the Eagles.
With Captain Mikel Obi unable to leave China due to work permit issue, midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo still down with injury and forward Kelechi Iheanacho knocked out by a broken arm, Rohr saw his squad further depleted during the game.
Nigeria could have gone ahead when Victor Moses’ smart shot was pushed out for a corner kick in the 10th minute. But the Serbians also tested Francis Uzoho endlessly, and Ekong, Iwobi and Awaziem had to divert balls away from goal in the first 20 minutes.
In the second half, Ighalo came in for Moses and the Eagles lost the playmaking steam from the left of the channel, though the China –based forward was bright in the middle.
Uzoho came out quickly to save a Serbian onslaught in the 50th minute and then smothered a shot by Branislav Ivanovic just before the hour, but Mitrovic found space in the box to score two goals in the 68th and 81st minute to condemn Nigeria to defeat.
Next up for the Eagles in the pre-FIFA World Cup build-up is the Send Forth match against Democratic Republic of Congo in Nigeria on Monday, 28th May, to be followed by a prestige game against England’s Three Lions at Wembley five days later.