The Super Eagles threw away a precious 4 goal lead to settle for a point at home to Sierra Leone in their African Cup of Nations Qualifying fixture on Friday evening. It was the first of a double header between the two sides, with the return leg scheduled for Tuesday November 17 in Sierra Leone. The Eagles missed out on the chance to edge closer to qualification for the 2021 showpiece in Cameroon but they are still in control of qualification Group L, with 7 points from 3 games having previously won in games against Benin Republic and Lesotho.
As it stood Group L
P GD Pts
1. Nigeria 3 3 7
2. Benin 2 0 3
3. Sierra Leone 2 -1 2
4. Lesotho 2 -2 1
Nigeria 4 : 4 Sierra Leone (Report)
0⃣4⃣’ — 🇳🇬 1⃣-0⃣ 🇸🇱
2⃣1⃣’ — 🇳🇬 2⃣-0⃣ 🇸🇱
2⃣7⃣’ — 🇳🇬 3⃣-0⃣ 🇸🇱
2⃣9⃣’ — 🇳🇬 4⃣-0⃣ 🇸🇱
4⃣1⃣’ — 🇳🇬 4⃣-1⃣ 🇸🇱
7⃣2⃣’ — 🇳🇬 4⃣-2⃣ 🇸🇱
8⃣0⃣’ — 🇳🇬 4⃣-3⃣ 🇸🇱
8⃣6⃣’ — 🇳🇬 4⃣-4⃣ 🇸🇱
— CAF (@CAF_Online) November 13, 2020
The perfect start
The Super Eagles took an early lead at the Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City of Friday, with Everton’s Alex Iwobi firing in a right footed shot just barely 5 minutes into the match. It came from a rebound, after Victor Osimhen’s shot was blocked by a defender. It was the perfect start to a home game against a side that is currently ranked 120th on FIFA rankings. Dominating possession and creating chances, Gernot Rohr’s men were well on top and deservedly extended their lead when Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen beat Kamara at the far post with a slick finish . Ten minutes later, it was 3-0; Osimhen laying it off for Iwobi for the midfielder to blast in a long range stunner that just flew past Kamara’s face -the goalkeeper rooted to the spot! Villareal ace, Samuel Chukwueze latched on to a through ball which he took in his stride, running at the Sierra Leonean defense before firing in left footed from just 4 yards out. It was a fine solo effort and the Super Eagles celebrated in style. They could have taken a 4 goal cushion into the half time break but Sierra Leone pulled one back just before half time, from a lovely counter attacking football – handing themselves a lifeline in this AFCON 2021 Qualifiers.
A game of two halves
Football is a game of two halves they say. With Nigeria leading 4-1 at half time, the expectation was that they were headed for all three points but the capitulation that ensued in the second 45 minutes gave Sierra Leone a share of the points. It appeared the Super Eagles were going to see out the win until the 71st minute when Al-hadji Kamara got a second for the visitors. Bundu made it 4-3 minutes later before substitute Kei Kamara completed a late come back, stunning the Super Eagles in Benin City!
— Radio Friend (@ogunmilorokenny) November 13, 2020
Eagle’s captain Ahmed Musa issued an apology after the game and promised the team would do better in Sierra Leone
AFCON Qualifiers: Sierra Leone vs Nigeria
The two teams are set to meet again on Tuesday for the return fixture in Sierra Leone at 17:00pm (WAT). Can the Super Eagles find redemption away from home?