Spanish LaLiga giants Atlético de Madrid have added to their Europa League triumph by defeating the Nigerian Super Eagles B team in a pulsating clash in Uyo.
The match which ended 3-2, saw Fernando “El Nino” Torres getting on the score sheet for the last time as an Atletico de Madrid player, to lift the inaugural GOtv Max Cup on Nigerian soil.
The match was played at an absolutely packed to the rafters Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, in Uyo, with fans travelling in from different cities across Nigeria to witness just how this historic match would unfold.
The Nigerian Super Eagles started the Nigeria vs Atletico Madrid game brightly dominating possession and opening the scoring early on in the game through a brilliant curling effort from Kelechi Nwakali. However it didn’t take long for Atlético to hit back with an equaliser when Angel Correa finished off a sublime through ball from Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey barely 1 minute after the restart.
The first half of the Nigeria vs Atletico Madrid ended 1 a piece, leaving the match perfectly poised for the introduction of iconic No. 9, Fernando “El Nino” Torres at half time.
The Atlético de Madrid legend wasted no time in making his mark, scoring 10 minutes into the second half to give the LaLiga giants a 2-1 lead. The Nigerian Super Eagles remained ontop despite the score line, and pegged the LaLiga side back through a brilliant solo effort from Usman Mohammed in the latter stages of the match, setting up a fantastic finale.
Atlético de Madrid however, were not to be denied, as Borja Garces grabbed a late winner just 2 minutes from time, to leave the Nigerian Super Eagles dejected, and enable Atlético de Madrid be crowned winners of the maiden GOtv Max Cup.
Atlético de Madrid manager, Diego Simeone, during his post-match press conference said: “Our objective is to win every game. We came here with many youth players with little experience, but I am proud of the team as they stuck to the objective, which is to win every game regardless.
The Nigerian players gave their all, they gave us a very good game and pushed us right to the end, but we are very happy with the win at the end of the day”
The Nigeria vs Atletico Madrid match was attended by several dignitaries, including, President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Marcelino Cabanas Ansorena, Nigerian Super Eagles Head Coach, Gernot Rohr, and LaLiga ambassador, Mutiu Adepoju, just to name a few. LaLiga Delegate in Nigeria, Javier del Rio, said after the match: “Once again LaLiga has demonstrated its absolute commitment to the development of football in Nigeria by bringing a Spanish powerhouse like Atlético de Madrid to play here against the national team.
We are happy the match was a success and the fans were treated to an array of stars, as LaLiga is determined to fulfil its promise of bringing the best players in world from the best league in the world to play on Nigerian soil, for the very first time. Africa is a very important market for our brand, with Nigeria being at the hub”.
The match was part of the LaLigaWorld Project in which friendly matches involving LaLiga teams all over the World are organized.