Gernot Rohr's place under threat as Super Eagles draw again away at Sierra Leone in their qualification match for the AFCON 2021
|What next for the Super Eagles after consecutive drab games against Sierra Leone? (Photo credit: TheNFF)|
After two consecutive draws, Nigeria's qualification to the AFCON 2021 is thrown into chaos, and not just because the team appear clueless, but largely because a change is needed with respect to leadership.
Two points from a possible six. A group many would have considered to be an easy group Nigeria could have had for a long time is summing up to be a dynamic and volatile group.
Many would wonder what's next in terms of the place of coach Gernot Rohr after the shameful debacle in Benin and the stalemate in Freetown, is it time for the National Team to get a fresh name in charge? Or can anyone make further excuses for the German tactician?
Following Fridays 4-4 draw in Benin, and another draw at the national stadium in Freetown, the super eagles would have to wait to register their place at the AFCON2021, though they remain at the top of the table with eight points after four matches closely followed by Benin with seven points.
Coach Gernot Rohr made two changes to the starting xi that started the first leg in Benin, with Leicester city’s Kelechi Iheanacho coming in for the injured Victor Osimhen and Fulham’s Ola Aina replacing Zaidu Sanusi.
In the third minute, a spark of life was registered as Kelechi Iheanacho got his first shot on target in a freekick situation as he could not beat goalkeeper Mohammed Kamara.
A few minutes before the half-hour mark, a strike from Mohamed Buya Turays of Sierra Leone was comfortably saved by Maduka Okoye.
The Leone stars continued to push for the opener, but the Nigerian goalkeeper produced some excellent saves that kept both teams at bay in the first 45 minutes.
Late in the first half, Nigerian midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo was replaced by Abdullahi Shehu due to an injury.
Early in the second half, Nigeria started the better side as another chance fell the way of Iheanacho but his efforts could not find the target.
In the 61st minute, Nigeria got the ball at the back of the net through Leicester city forward Kelechi Iheanacho after a delightful cross from Alex Iwobi but it was ruled offside as the Everton midfielder was adjudged to be in an offside position.
In the 71st minute, the first and only yellow card of the game was issued to Nigerian captain Ahmed Musa for a reckless challenge and that summed up his evening, bringing to fore the questions of many Nigerians around his role in the team especially with the fact he doesn't have a club.
Towards the tail end of the game, after some fine team-play, Iheanacho had his shot parried away by the Leone stars goalkeeper. The Leicester City forward was immediately replaced by Club Brugge’s Emmanuel Dennis while Rangers FC midfielder was replaced by West Bromwich Albion defender Semi Ajayi.
The Super Eagles next fixture is against the squirrels of Benin on March 22 before they play host to Lesotho for their last group game.