Watch: Nigeria GK does nothing to dispel concern of match-fixed friendly
Multiple reports suggested that authorities were concerned about potential match fixing ahead of Wednesday's Nigeria-Scotland friendly. Well, Nigeria goalkeeper Austin Ejide appeared to do nothing to allay those worries in the first half at Craven Cottage in London.
With Nigeria trailing 1-0, Ejide appeared to sensationally throw the ball into his own net off a corner kick in the 32nd minute. The play didn't stand, as it was nullified when Scotland's Grant Hanley was whistled for a foul. Nigeria didn't fail to secure its own goal, though, with Azubuike Egwuekwe turning a cross into his own net in the 52nd minute, breaking a 1-1 deadlock.
Were both plays intentional? Were there outside forces impacting the match? Nobody can say for certain, and we certainly won't make that unequivocal allegation, but Ejide's play looked especially fishy considering the pregame controversy surrounding the fixture.
The fact that Nigeria scored in the 90th minute to prevent the loss and salvage a 2-2 draw could offer evidence to the contrary as well. (Although IF there was a fix in play, it could have been about much more than just winner and loser. There's a rabbit hole to go down here. We won't, at least not without concrete evidence).
Nigeria plays the USA in its final pre-World Cup friendly on June 7 in Jacksonville, Fla. The Super Eagles are in the World Cup's Group F along with Argentina, Iran and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Watch Ejide's outrageous play below: