Kelechi Iheanacho's late goal secures Super Eagles' qualification for Africa Cup of Nations. Exciting win over Sierra Leone in Monrovia
|Victor Osimhen celebrates his brace that helped Nigeria past Sierra Leone on Sunday in Monrovia in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. Kelechi Iheanacho rounded up scoring as the Super Eagles won 3-2. (Photo credit: GOAL)|
Relegated Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho tapped home late in Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Lone Stars of Sierra Leone in Monrovia to confirm the Super Eagles’ qualification.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria booked their place in next year’s tournament in Ivory Coast courtesy of a 3-2 win over Sierra Leone on Sunday.
Thanks to two goals from Napoli sensation Victor Osimhen and a late winner from Senior Man Kelechi Iheanacho.
Coach Jose Perriera was on the brink of going under fire until late in the game when Zaidu Sanusi raced down the Lone Stars defence, cut back to the box by the byline.
And allowed Kelechi Iheanacho to tap into an empty net, confirming Nigeria’s place at the next continental championship.
Peseiro named an expected lineup, with the only surprise coming in between the sticks: Adebayo Adeleye was picked ahead of Francis Uzoho.
And Troost Ekong was benched for Semi Ajayi and Kenneth Omeruo, with Victor Osimhem expected to lead the line.
The Super Eagles raced to a two-goal lead through Osimhen, and it felt like Nigeria would blow the hosts out of the water.
The game was staged in Monrovia due to unrest in Freetown, but Sierra Leone wasn’t about to lose its pride.
Mustapha Bundu halved the deficit with a few minutes left on the clock in the first half, but Nigeria held on with the lead into the halftime break.
The second half was a bit cagey, but the hosts levelled to shock Nigeria through a stunning Augustus Kargbo strike.
With the game seemingly heading for a stalemate, which would still have qualified Nigeria for the Nations Cup next year and eliminated the Leone Stars, Senior Man Kelz stepped up with a tap-in thanks to a mazy run from the FC Porto fullback.
Iheanacho’s goal means Nigeria moved to 12 points, two above Guinea-Bissau, who also qualified for the continental tournament with a game to spare.