Mexico's Oribe Peralta (#19) challenges for a header against Nigeria in their friendly on March 5, 2014, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (Photo: Mexsport)
ATLANTA – Mexico and Nigeria played to a 0-0 stalemate in an international friendly on Wednesday before 68,212 fans at the Georgia Dome. It was the third straight draw between the sides and their fourth in five all-time meetings.
The match kicked off with a good rhythm as both teams attacked in search of the first goal.
Nigeria generated the first opportunities with two attempts on goal by forward Emmanuel Emenike. Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who was in outstanding form throughout the evening, was up to the task each in each instance.
The Mexicans started to find space and enjoyed their first true chance in the 23rd minute, but Hector Herrera shot just over the crossbar.
Four minutes later, the Tricolor captain Rafael Marquez headed a corner kick that was saved by Nigerian goalkeeper Victor Enyeama.
Mexico continued to pressure the Nigerian defense and, in the 30th minute, forward Oribe Peralta fired a volley that went just wide of the far post.
Ten minutes after the break, the African champion came close to breaking the deadlock. Defender Uwe Elderson Ehciejile found himself one-on-one with Ochoa, only to see the Ajaccio netminder pull off a tremendous stop.
In the 68th minute, an effort by Nigeria’s Ogenyi Ozani missed off a feed from Victor Moses.
Despite not finding the back of the net, the final 20 minutes were productive for Mexico.
Tigres forward Alan Pulido forced a save from Enyeama in the 82nd minute, while Club America’s Raúl Jimenez went wide with six minutes remaining in normal time.
Next up for Mexico is a friendly against the host United States on April 2 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.