For the second time in four days, the Super Eagles of Nigeria failed to defeat minnows Sierra Leonne in their qualification match for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations played Tuesday as they were held to a 1-1 draw at the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown.
This lackluster performance follows a bizarre 4-4 at home by the Super Eagles last week, an action that prompted a matching order from the minister of sports, Mr. Sunday Dare, who urged the team to secure a win in the second leg match at all cost.
This latest result means that the Eagles still have more work to do to improve their chances of qualifying for the tournament scheduled to hold in Cameroun.
The first half of the match was cagy at best as both teams jostled for control of the mid field.
Coach Gernot Rohr had to make an injury substitution as Oghenekaro Etebo had to go off and the Galatasaray midfielder was replaced by Shehu Abdullahi.
The Eagles increased the tempo of the game in the second half with some decent chances with the objective to take the lead but a header was cleared off the line in the third minute of the second half.
In one of the early exchanges in the second half of the match, Kelechi Iheanacho though he had given the Eagles the lead in the 61st minute only to be denied by the referee who had blown his whistle even before Alex Iwobi crossed the ball.
The members of the Eagles heaved a sigh of relieve when Alhassan Koroma had a chance for the Stars on the dot of full time but he panicked and failed to convert, thus saving Nigeria’s blushes.
Nigeria thus held on to their leadership of Group L with eight points from four matches; followed by Benin, who drew 0-0 with Lesotho, away in Maseru.
The Eagles’ next matches are scheduled for March 2021, when they will face Benin away before they conclude their campaign at home to Lesotho.
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