Alexandra Mitrovic was the difference in the friendly match between Nigeria and Serbia which took place at the Hive Stadium in London, as his second-half brace was enough to hand the Super Eagles her first defeat since the loss against South Africa last year June.
The Fulham man, who is on loan from Newcastle was a torn in the flesh of the Nigerian team as his physical presence was too much of a problem for the defensive pair of William Troost-Ekong and Chidozie Awaziem, with both of his goals coming from close range efforts after being assisted by Filip Kostic, albeit in a similar manner.
Nigeria’s Coach, Gernot Rohr, who switched back to a 4-3-3 formation, made four changes to the team that defeated Poland last Friday, as the quartet of Chidozie Awaziem, Ogenyi Onazi, Tyrone Ebuehi and Ahmed Musa made their way into the starting eleven.
However, the team struggled to get a foothold of the match in the early parts of the game as the Serbians utilized the flank very well to create most of the scoring opportunity.
With the Serbians being so dominant, Nigerians first real chance came in the 27th minutes as Alex Iwobi’s shot was wide of the mark after Victor Moses had laid a through ball to him.
Going into the second half, Victor Moses made way for Odion Ighalo with Ahmed Musa who was playing as a false nine moved back to the flanks. The Changchun Yatai forward tried to impose himself in the game, but he had to feed off on lose balls after being isolated up front.
Mitrovic broke the deadlock in the 68th minute with a composed finish, and added a second – exploiting some poor defending on behalf of the West Africans – in the 81st minute as Nigeria pressed forward in search of an equaliser.
Rohr brought on the likes of Junior Ajayi, Mikel Agu, John Ogu and Ola Aina to see if his team could salvage the situation, but the Serbians were resolute in defence.
The defeat ended Nigeria’s 5-game unbeaten run of most matches in London, since a 1-0 defeat against Australia in November 2007.