Watch LIVE, Portugal vs Nigeria (International friendlies)

Watch LIVE, Portugal vs Nigeria (International friendlies)


On Thursday, Portugal will face African powerhouse Nigeria in a friendly at Estadio Jose Alvalade as part of their final preparations for the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

The three-time defending champions of Africa will be looking to get back on track and finish the year on a high note as they gear up for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches. They will miss out on Qatar due to their qualifying heartbreak.
Portugal will be looking to make an impression in Qatar after coming off a disappointing UEFA Nations League campaign in which they finished one point behind group winners Spain.

After a 3-1-1 record through their first five games in Group A2, A Selecao were knocked off the top spot by Luis Enrique's squad in their final group match, a 1-0 loss on September 27 at home.

Portugal is one of four teams in Group H of the World Cup, along with Ghana, South Korea, and South American powerhouse Uruguay. They are slight favorites to win the group and advance to the knockout stage.

They haven't made it past the round of 16 since 2006, when they lost to France in the semi-finals by a score of 1-0, so this won't be enough to get them there.

Santos has proven he can lead his team to victory against the world's best footballing nations despite a shaky qualifying run in which they finished second to Serbia and third to Turkey and North Macedonia in the playoffs.

The 68-year-old led Portugal to its first UEFA Nations League title three years after the country won the European Championship in 2016.

Spain's Rodri in action with Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo on September 27, 2022

Portugal, who are competing in their sixth consecutive World Cup, have called up a star-studded squad for the challenge, with captain Cristiano Ronaldo again serving as the team's shining light.

Instead, Nigeria will be hoping to give their fans a reason to celebrate on Thursday after a disappointing year.

Three-time African champions Nigeria were eliminated by surprise opponent Tunisia 1-0 in the round of 16 at the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations on January 23.

After a 1-1 aggregate draw in the qualifying playoffs in March, the Super Eagles were eliminated from contention for a spot in Qatar due to a loss to their West African rivals Ghana on the away goal rule.

After blowing a two-goal first-leg lead and playing out a 2-2 aggregate draw in September, Nigeria was eliminated from the 2022 Africa Nations Championship after losing on penalties to Ghana, 5-4.

Since a scoreless June 2021 tie against Cameroon, Jose Peseiro's squad has lost five straight friendlies, scoring only twice and allowing eleven goals.

The last time Nigeria won a friendly match was in March of this year, when Genk striker Paul Onuachu scored early in the game to defeat seven-time AFCON winners Egypt 1-0 at the Stephen Keshi Stadium.

The West African team, which has lost its past three matches in all competitions (including a 2-0 loss to Costa Rica only five days ago), will play in the 2018 Africa Cup of Nations.


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