Nigeria thump a second-string Argentina side in Abuja

Nigeria coach Samson Siasia
Samson Siasia's Nigeria destroyed a second-string Argentina side

Nigeria warmed up for Sunday's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Ethiopia with a 4-1 win over Argentina in Abuja.

The visitors paid heavily for fielding an experimental side, with Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Javier Mascherano and Sergio Aguero all absent.

A 'B' side trying to force their way into Argentina coach Sergio Batista's Copa America squad were soundly beaten.

Ikechukwu Uche (2), Obinna Nsofor and Emmanuel Emenike netted for the hosts before Mauro Boselli's late penalty.

Nigeria coach Samson Siasia and his men will now travel to Ethiopia for Sunday's Group B qualifier in buoyant mood.

"Let's not take anything away from the importance of this win," Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo said afterwards.

The absence of so many big names had initially provoked anger among some Nigerian fans but this may now be overlooked given the manner of victory.

"We knew Argentina had good players and we knew we had to score early to have any chance," said Uche.

"This is a big morale booster for us."

Uche grabbed his first after 10 minutes when he latched onto a cross from the right and beat keeper Adrian Gabbarini with a deflected shot.

Victor Obinna converted a hotly-contested penalty just before the half-hour before Uche scored the third in the 40th minute, heading home at the back post after a perfect cross from Taye Taiwo.

To the delight of the 30,000 fans who watched inside the Abuja National Stadium, Siasia's men then took a four-goal lead.

Turkey-based Emanuel Emenike crowned the night with a deft lob over the goalkeeper's head as Argentina's defence was caught flatfooted again eight minutes into the second half.

Deep into injury time, Mauro Boselli grabbed a consolation goal for the visitors, who performed well below par.

Boselli converted from the penalty spot after Efe Ambrose was adjudged to have handled in the penalty area.

Argentina will host the Copa America, South American continental championships, from 01-24 July.

Nigeria: 1-Vincent Enyeama (16-Dele Aiyegnuba, 46); 2-Joseph Yobo, 3-Taiwo Taye, 5-Efe Ambrose, 6-Chibuzor Okonkwo (13-Yusuf Ayila, 67); 10-John Mikel Obi, 4-Joel Obi (17-Ogwude Fegor, 72), 12-Kalu Uche (7-Ahmed Musa, 46), 15-Ike Uche; 18-Victor Obinna (8-Peter Utaka, 80), 9-Victor Anichebe (11-Emanuel Emunike, 44)

Argentina: 1-Adrian Gabbarini; 2-Ezequiel Garay (13-Mateo Musacchio, 65), 3-Emiliano Insua 4-Pablo Zabaleta, 6-Federico Fazio; 5-Mario Bolatti, 8-Fernando Belluschi (15-Nicolas Bertolo, 62), 14-Alberto Costa (20-Alejandro Cabral, 58), 10-Nicolas Gaitan; 9-Mauro Boselli, 18-Diego Perotti (11-Franco Jara, 70).

Referee: Ibrahim Chaibou (Niger)

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