Sierra Leone hold Eagles to goalless draw in Freetown

The Super Eagles played a goalless draw against Sierra Leone in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers at the Siaka Stevens Stadium, Freetown on Tuesday.

The Eagles failed to redeem their image after they squandered a 4-0 lead to draw 4-4 in the first leg played at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium on Friday.

President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, had after the Friday game in Benin, charged the Eagles to defeat their opponents by four unreplied goals, saying the match was his worst result as president of the federation.

Coach Gernot Rohr kept faith with most of the players who started the game in Benin, keeping Maduka Okoye in goal and Kevin Akpoguma as right back.

His only changes were Ola Aina who came in for Zaidu Sanusi at left-back and Kelechi Iheanacho who replaced injured Victor Osimhen.

The Leicester forward had Eagles best chance in the game, after his curling effort in the 82nd minute was parried by the Sierra Leonean goalkeeper Mohamed Kamara.

Iheanacho had earlier found the back of the net in the 61st minute, but the goal didn’t count, as the referee had already blown his whistle for offside.

The Eagles were forced to make an early substitution in the 36th minute, after Oghenekaro Etebo got injured and was replaced by Shehu Abdullahi.

Ahmed Musa was the only player to be booked, entering the referee’s book in the 72nd minute.

After the first-half substitution of Etebo, Rohr also replaced Akpoguma with Chidozie Awaziem in the 73rd minute, while Emmanuel Dennis and Semi Ajayi came in for Iheanacho and Joe Aribo respectively with seven minutes of regulation time left to be played.

With the goalless draw, the Eagles still stay top of Group L with eight points, one ahead of second-placed Benin Republic who also played a goalless draw at Lesotho. Sierra Leone are third with three points, while Lesotho sit in the bottom of the group with two points from four matches.

The Eagles will travel to Benin Republic for their match-day five fixture, knowing a win will secure qualification for the AFCON, while Lesotho host the Leone Stars. AFP

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