The Super Eagles played and lost their second game under Jose Peseiro on Friday against Ecuador, 1-0, at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, USA.
The lineup was the same as the one that started in the loss to Mexico but for the inclusion of Sani Faisal who came on for the injured Innocent Bonke.
Qatar-bound Ecuador settled the fastest and Pervis Estupinan gave the South Americans the lead in the second minute off a deep free-kick. This caught both Chidozie Awaziem and Faisal flat-footed as Estupinan ghosted in behind the pair to head past Francis Uzoho.
Nigeria denied a penalty in the 13th minute after Terem Moffi, from a pass from Alex Iwobi, seemed to have his leg taken by the Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Domínguez but the referee and his assistant agreed it was not a foul despite vehement complaints from the Nigerians.
Uzoho made a diving save from a Jose Cifuentes curler in the 21st minute. Another defence-splitting pass from Iwobi presented a goal-scoring chance to Cyriel Dessers but Domingues made a good save. From the resultant corner, Semi Ajayi had a header saved before Moffi poked wide.
Ekong had to make a scrambling clearance in the 31st minute and he could easily have scored another own goal.
Ola Aina and Emmanuel Dennis came on at the start of the second half to replace Awaziem and Faisal. Dominguez had to be brave to save a fierce drive from Aribo in the 50th minute as the Eagles dominated ball possession and forced their opponents back.
Dennis missed a chance in the 58th as the Nigerians continued pressing and Dominguez produced another save from Calvin Bassey in the 62nd minute.
Estupinan had two bites at the cherry in the 81st minute. Uzoho parried his first shot and he blasted the rebound over with the goal at his mercy.
The match became a tetchy affair as both sides committed niggly fouls, which broke up play intermittently. Peseiro sent on Victor Mbaoma for Moffi in the 85th minute and Uzoho made a fingertip save from Jeremy Sarmiento’s goal-bound shot in the 88th minute as the Ecuadorians attacked after being put under a lot of pressure by the Eagles.
Four minutes were added on but the Eagles could not find the equaliser. Peseiro lost his second game in charge and will be keen for a first competitive win on June 9 against Sierra Leone in a Nations Cup qualifier.