Nigeria home-based Super Eagles were no match to Mexico as they suffered a 4-0 loss in the friendly game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday morning.
The Nigeria Football Federation gave the home-based Super Eagles selected from various Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) the opportunity to showcase themselves as fans have been advocating for the inclusion of home-based into coach Gernot Rohr’s selection.
Since he took over as Super Eagles boss in 2016, Rohr has constantly faced criticism for not using enough home-based players. His teams throughout his stint so far have been utterly dominated by foreign-based players.
Rohr has told ESPN previously that while he will select the best players into the Super Eagles, new call ups must be better than the players he currently has, and he does not believe that is the case with the NPFL players.
Rohr delegated coaching the home-based players to coach Austin Eguaveon, and the Nigeria Sport Minister, Sunday Dare is not happy about it.
“They are football players, they have talents, you cannot discriminate. His attitude towards home-based players is unacceptable. It is negative to our football development in this country, and I call on the NFF to call him to order,” says the Sports Minister after visiting the team prior to their departure for the USA.
The home-based players known as super Eagles team B faced Mexico in an international friendly match in the early hours of Sunday, 6 July 2021.
The Sunday match was the sixth confrontation between the senior teams of both countries, four of which have ended in draws. The only win in the series has gone to Mexico on a 5-4 penalties shootout after the game ended 1-1 at the FIFA Confederations encounter on 13th January 1995.
The match is one of the most-attended game globally with over 53,000 spectators on ground, since the restrictions that followed the coronavirus pandemic which broke out last year.
Hector Herrera put the Mexicans in front in the 2nd minute from the first corner kick of the match while Rogelio Funes Mori made it 2-0 in the fourth minute, Udo kept him on-side as the referee awarded the goal despite calls for an offside by the Nigerians. Herrera and Dos Santos round up the scoring in 51st and 77th minute of the second half respectively.
The home-based players attempted four shots with none of it on target compared to their counterpart who recorded 20 shots and 11 of which were on target.
Despite being outplayed and outclassed, the Nigerian fans sees positives in some promising individual performances like the Goalkeeper of the day, Stanley Nwabali, who made some amazing saves to keep the score line decent.
Fans who advocated for the home-based players inclusion in the senior team call-up, have took to social media to express their disappointment in what most described as ‘shambolic display’.