Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi praised his players for shrugging off the effects of jetlag and fatigue to hold Italy to a 2-2 draw in an entertaining friendly in London.
Monday’s game at Fulham’s Craven Cottage came barely 48 hours after the African champions had secured their place at next year’s World Cup with a 2-0 victory over Ethiopia in the second leg of a qualifying play-off.
A much-changed side fell behind to a 12th-minute goal by Giuseppe Rossi but hit back through Bright Dike and Shola Ameobi, only for Italy midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini to restore parity early in the second half.
“After 48 hours, playing a World Cup qualifying match and flying right away here, they did good,” Keshi said.
“Without sleeping, and we didn’t get to do any training before this game. I’m happy.”
The World Cup in Brazil is still seven months away, but Keshi does not foresee any major upheaval regarding the composition of his squad during that period.
“This is the fifth or sixth time I’m taking the same team to play my game,” he said.
“Most of them are going to be there (in Brazil), if there’s no injuries. I pray there’s no injuries. But I still need some (new) players in the team, to make the team more solid.”