While Mexico and Nigeria failed to produce a goal in their 0-0 draw on Wednesday, both managers will likely be pleased with the effort their teams put forward in a mid-week warm-up friendly that most of the players on both sides had to travel a long distance for.
Nigeria got off to a fast start, aided by some poor errors by the Mexico defense. Rafa Marquez, in particular, looked a bit off the pace in the early going and gave the ball away in his own half on a couple of occasions. He was let off the hook for his first big misstep by an offside call, but Guillermo Ochoa was forced into a couple saves after his second bad turnover, on a close-range shot from Emmanuel Emenike and a 25-yard blast from Ogenyi Onazi in the 12th minute.
Mexico settled down after that and began to control possession, but struggled to create chances. Javier Hernandez, one of the European-based players who was just recently welcomed back into the fold for Mexico, was not sharp and showed signs of having only played limited minutes for Manchester United recently. Vincent Enyeama was great in net for Nigeria in the first half, regularly cutting out through balls and crosses before they could become shots on target.
Both teams made extensive changes at halftime and early in the second half, changing the chemistry of their teams and hindering the flow of the game in classic international friendly fashion. Raul Jimenez had some dangerous moments after coming on, but failed to hit the target with any of his efforts. The game was wide open and featured plenty of play around both boxes, but in the end, finishing let both teams down.
Mexico: Ochoa, Moreno, Marquez, Reyes (Maza 64'), Guardado, Montes (Aquino 46'), Medina (Peña 64'), Herrera (Vazquez 74'), Aguilar, Peralta (Jimenez 70'), Hernandez (Pulido 46')
Nigeria: Enyeama (Ejide 46'), Echiejile, Omeruo, Oboabona, Ambrose (Balogun 46', Egwuekwe 66'), Uchebo (Azeez 46'), Mikel, Onazi, Moses (Ezekiel 71'), Emenike, Musa (Obinna 60')