The Super Eagles of Nigeria on Thursday night suffered a 4-0 defeat by Portugal without Cristiano Ronaldo in an international friendly game at the Jose Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon.
Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro started a back four that featured William Troost-Ekong, Kevin Akpoguma, Calvin Bassey, and new boy Osayi Samuel in the team’s last outing for the calendar year 2022.
Joe Aribo, Alex Iwobi, and Wilfred Ndidi played in the midfield while Moses Simon and Ademola Lookman lined on either side of Terem Moffi up front.
Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes put Portugal in front after just nine minutes into the game with an easy poke from close range.
Fernandes doubled the lead from the penalty spot in the 35th minute after debutant, Bright Osayi-Samuel was adjudged to have handled the ball as he inadvertently tried to defend against a cross into the box.
Peseiro made a raft of changes in the second half as Frank Onyeka came on for Ndidi, Samuel Chukwueze replaced Lookman, Oghenekaro Etebo came on for Joe Aribo while Paul Onuachu came in for Moffi.
The Nigerian players were undecided on who would take the penalty kick but it was Dennis that eventually stepped up.
Goncalo Ramos and Joao Mario then scored two late goals for Portugal as the game ended 4-0.
Portugal will play Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea in the group stage of the World Cup while Nigeria will resume qualifiers for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in March.