Haruna Lukman drilled in a 25 yard daisy-cutter to secure a much more eye pleasing 1-1 draw for Nigeria against Colombia on Sunday at Milton Keynes.
Technical Adviser Lars Lagerback made 10 changes to the side which turned out a forgetable 0-0 draw against
Saudi Arabia, as he sought to get a closer look at more of his squad. The move looked to have backfired when Carlos Valdes took advantage of a poor clearance to crack home an unstoppable volley.
But the Super Eagles refused to let their heads drop, and although they were giving the ball away in midfield, kept their heads, and more importantly, their calm.
Lagerback threw on Haruna Lukman in the second half, and it was the young Monaco midfielder who stabilised the central areas, and created danger with his passing.
It was no surprise then, that it was he who found a way to break down the South Americans. Kalu Uche, who had also come in as a substiutute, skinned his man down the right with an audacious flick of the inside of his boot and delivered a cross into the box.
Obafemi Martins chased down the ball and the clearance fell to Lukman, who stroked it in first time from 25 yards. From then on, it was one-way traffic, with the Eagles in total control with their passing and movement. But Colombia had two good chances on the break, which Rabiu Afolabi did well to cut out.
Overall, it was a more pleasing display to both the fans, and the coaching staff, and Lukman, with this performance, would have earned himself a place in Lagerback’s squad.