Stephen Keshi’s search for a first win against European oppositions since assuming the reins of the Nigeria senior national team must now wait until next week’s World Cup, after his side played out a goalless draw against Greece in Philadelphia, USA, on Tuesday.
The Afcon 2013-winning coach named most key members of his 23-man squad for the warm-up match played at the Philadelphia Union’s PPL Park, with only Echiejile left from the starting line-up against Scotland a week ago.
Both nations used the clash to tune-up for the World Cup, with Greece set to play in Group C, along with Colombia, Ivory Coast and Japan, while Nigeria are drawn in Group F, which has Iran, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Argentina.
Nigeria got off to a purposeful start, but it was the 2004 European champions who threatened first, when Loannis Fitfatzidis missed the target from inside of the box.
Greece again made their way through their opponents’ defence when skipper John Obi Mikel gave away the ball to Giorgios Karagounis in the midfield, the latter then allowed Christodoupoulos to try a shot, which missed the goal by a glimmer.
Kunle Odunlami came on for Elederson Echiejile in the 28th minute, after the Monaco defender pulled up what looked a hamstring injury.
The Eagles upped their tempo after the break, following the introduction of Michael Uchebo for Ahmed Musa.
Moses, who began dazzling from the left wing, then found his route into Greece’s box, only for his left-footed shot to fly across the face of goal without posing much threat on 58 minutes.
Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama was called to the rescue on 83 minutes, blocking Giorgios Samaras’ shot from 10 yards and Dimitris Salpingidis header from the rebound went wide, following a quick counter-attack from the World Cup-bound Europeans.
Ogenyi Onazi’s effort from a distance was saved by Greece’s goalkeeper in the 86th minute.
Moses almost got away with a goal in the 89th minute, but his shot was just few yards far from the target.