Former African champions, the Super Eagles, lost a two-goal lead against Ukraine in an international friendly at the FC Dnipro Arena, Dnipro on Tuesday.
The national team manager, Gernot Rohr, named a relatively young team against Ukraine as Joseph Aribo joined Victor Osimhen for the striking role.
Francis Uzoho got cover from stand-in captain, William Troost-Ekong, Olaoluwa Aina, Semilogo Ajayi, and Jamilu Collins, while the midfield was marshaled by Oghenekaro Etebo, Samuel Kalu and Alex Iwobi and Samuel Chukwueze.
In the third minute of the tie, Joe Aribo tapped in Iwobi’s cross to open his goal account in the national team.
Moments later, the Rangers of Scotland midfielder almost doubled the lead with a flying header but Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Lunin parried the ball to safety.
The Ukrainian goalie, who was kept busy for the entire half, also denied Chukwueze from extending the lead.
The pressure however paid off in the 32nd minute when Kalu was infringed on in the vital area and Italian referee Paolo Valerie pointed to the spot.
Osimhen stepped up and sent the Ukraine goalie the wrong way.
In quick successions, the hosts made attempts to reduce the deficit but Uzoho posted quality saves to ensure the lead remained two nil at half time.
On resumption for the second, the Andriy Shevchenko lads launched several goal attempts at Nigeria’s area but were thwarted by the Troost Ekong-led defence line.
POAK Thessaloniki of Greece midfielder Anderson Esiti won his first national team cap when he came on for Iwobi in the 67th minute of the tie.
Momentary loss of concentration cost Nigeria the two goal lead as Manchester City star Oleksandr Zinchenko gave the hosts respite before Roman Yaremchuk grabbed the equalizer, though the player was believed to have handed while attempting to beat Uzoho.