The Super Eagles were on Tuesday held to a 1-1 draw by the continent’s second-ranked team Tunisia in a cagey friendly affair at the Jacques Lemmans Arena in Austria.
The game was the Super Eagles’ second friendly encounter within four days.
Gernot Rohr’s men were defeated 1-0 by an early Ramy Bensebaïni goal for Algeria on Friday.
However, against the Carthage Eagles, Nigeria took an early lead through Kelechi Iheanacho in the 21st minute.
But Tunisia levelled before the break after Iheanacho was presented with a glorious opportunity to double the lead and missed from the penalty spot.
There was little to choose between two squads of Eagles from the African continent even as Coach Gernot Rohr handed first caps to two more players – Cyril Dessers and Chidera Ejuke.
This meant Nigeria has handed caps to a total of six players in these two friendly games, after Zaidu Sanusi, Frank Onyeka, Kevin Akpoguma and Samson Tijani took theirs against Algeria on Friday.
Captain Ahmed Musa started a game for the first time in a long time – one of five changes that Rohr made to the team that started against the African champions in Klagenfurt on Friday.
Kenneth Omeruo was back at the heart of the defence and Moses Simon took the place of Samuel Kalu, while Kevin Akpoguma took over at right back consigning Tyronne Ebuehi to the bench.
The changes, aligned with the striped white jersey as against the darkish green against Algeria, made the Eagles look brighter on the turn against a well –organised Tunisian side that had plenty of guile, skill and steel.
Their steel earned them two yellow cards within the first 12 minutes, and after being appropriately inducted, the Super Eagles decided to add some steel to their own game.
England –based Iheanacho took the marksman’s role from gangling Paul Onuachu.
After two misdirected shots by Samuel Chukwueze and Zaidu Sanusi, the former U-17 World Cup winner showed his team mates how to finish in front of goal.
This was after he held the ball well inside the box, against Dylane Bronn, before firing past goalkeeper Ben Farouk to put Nigeria in the lead in the 21st minute for the first time in the tour.
Captain Youssef Msakni, Wabil Khazri, Issama Haddadi and Mohamed Drajer posed all sorts of problems for the Nigerian defence with their pace, trickery and telepathy.
Yet, the North Africans would have been two goals down on the half hour.
Iheanacho, granted the opportunity to score his 10th international goal, saw his tame shot from the penalty spot saved by Farouk after the goalkeeper had brought down Ahmed Musa.
As the clock closed in on the first period, Drajer saw his shot from a corner fly away, a sweet move by Simon and Iheanacho was decoded by an alert rearguard of the Carthage Eagles and Okoye saved from Khazri.
But there was still time for a twist, as the effervescent Hamza Rafia ghosted past Omeruo on the line and gifted Drajer to hammer into the net for Tunisia’s equaliser.
The second half was no less interesting. Iheanacho rose to meet the ball from a corner but headed narrowly over, and at the other end, Drajer side-netted.
Musa, on his 93rd senior cap for Nigeria, looked good to put Nigeria ahead in the 67th minute but he lacked the pace to meet up with a good pass from Iheanacho.
Both teams showed grit and intent, with some eye-catching touches, good marking, adroit use of space and some individual brilliance.
On the dot of time, the Carthage Eagles came quite close to nicking it, but Okoye, winning only his third cap for Nigeria, was alert enough to tip over the bar a tricky lob by Naim Sliti.
Next up for the Super Eagles is a quickfire home-and-away Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying fixture against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone, between Nov. 9 and 17.
Cameroonian Referee, Sidi Alioum, To Officiate CAF Confed Cup Final
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has named Cameroon’s Sidi Alioum as referee for the Confederation Cup final.
The Confed Cup final match between RS Berkane of Morocco and Egyptian side, Pyramids, holds later tonight.
RS Berkane progressed to the final after overcoming Hassania Aghadir 2-1 in the semi-finals of the competition.
On the other hand, Pyramids beat Horoya 2-0, thanks to late goals from Ibrahim Hassan and Abdallah El-Said.
Ahead of the final, CAF have decided to assign Cameroonian referee Alioum the duty to take charge of the game.
Alioum will be joined by his countryman Elvis Noupoue, and Chadian, Issa Yaya, as his assistants, and Gabonese referee Castane Otogo as the fourth official.
The CAF Confederation Cup final between Pyramids and RS Berkane will be determined through a single game and is set to take place on Sunday, October 25th.
Kick-off takes place at 20:00 West African Standard Time.
Burkina Faso’s Traoré Scores Five, Assists Three In Ajax 13-0 Demolition Of Venlo
Nineteen years old Lassina Traore of Burkina Faso was on song on Saturday when Ajax demolished host VV Venlo 13-0 in the Dutch League.
Traore, who made his debut in the Champions League days ago, was directly involved in eight goals, scoring five and assisting a further three.
It was an incredible display from the teenager, whose journey from Burkina Faso, via South Africa, in just three short years has been remarkable.
The forward’s display helped Ajax to record the biggest league win in their history – surpassing 1972’s 12-1 win over Vitesse – as well as the greatest winning margin in the Eredivisie.
The win, an Eredivisie record, saw seven different players getting their names on the score sheet.
The win ensured that Ajax moved to the top of the standings.
Led by Traore Ajax dominated the contest and were already 4-0 up when Venlo were reduced to 10 men after skipper Christian Kum was sent off on VAR review for a high boot.
What followed was an eight-goal salvo in 24 second half minutes as Ajax’s players controlled possession and lined up to take shots on goal, with veteran 37-year-old forward Klaas Jan Huntelaar also scoring twice in two minutes.
The visitors finished the match with an eye-watering 23 shots on target and could have scored more had Venlo goalkeeper Delano van Crooij not made 10 saves.
Gor Mahia captain confident ahead of new season
Captain of Kenyan Premier League (KPL) side Gor Mahia, Kenneth Muguna says his side is not worried about the 2020/2021 season as they are targeting maximum points in all their matches.
Muguna says the team is only focusing on being ready for the new season and not the league fixtures.
“We are not concentrating so much on the fixtures, we are not worried about it at all,” Muguna said.
“We are focused on being ready before the league resumes because I know once we are physically and mentally ready, we can tackle any team on earth.
“We are going to try and win all our matches because we know by doing so, we stand a chance of winning trophies at the end of the season.”
K’Ogalo recently appointed a new Brazilian coach Roberto Oliveira and added some new players to the team.
“The team is fine so far, we are creating a bond that will make us operate together as a team – the aim is, to find a working formula,” Muguna added.
Also, new Gor Mahia signing, Bernard Ondiek says the fans should wait for the start of the new league season with optimism.
“We are geared for the season start and we have new players who are really gelling well as expected. Gor Mahia always get good players and for the fans, I want you to expect much [more] from us than we gave last season,” he said.
“For now, I can say all the focus is on the Champions League, and obviously we have been there and we know what to do. Since we have some experiences in the Champions League, we are now well prepared to tackle it more than the other seasons.
“All we are going for is the Champions League as it is a nice experience for every player in this team. But again, if you do not prepare well, it will be hard to make it.
“All I can say is the fans should be geared for it and I am very happy and confident because we will do good in the Champions League.”
Gor Mahia are set to start off their new season with a fixture against 11-time KPL champions Tusker FC, and later face Ulinzi Stars, Mathare United, Sofapaka FC, and newly promoted Bidco United.
Hoodlums Raid Popular Sports Paper In Nigeria’s Lagos
Parliament in Somalia endorses new PM Roble’s Cabinet
Nigeria Regulator Grants MTN, 9mobile Approval For National Roaming Service
Doctors Without Borders Launches Mass Casualty Plan After School Shooting In Cameroon
Africa’s COVID-19 Cases Top 1.7 Million
Zambian Musician, Daev, Is Dead
Breaking: Tanker Explodes In Lagos Nigeria
Tanzania’s NEC Summoms Chadema Candidate Over Rigging Claim
British MP Writes UK Government Over Financial Support To Nigeria’s SARS
Mali, Spain Invite Wolverhampton’s Adama Traore
News4 days ago
Actress Ada Ameh Loses Only Child
Politics4 days ago
What IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu, Told #EndSARS Protesters After Lekki Tollgate Killings
Politics4 days ago
EndSARS: U.S. Must Stand With Nigerians, Biden Says
Politics4 days ago
Nigeria’s Vice President Osinbajo Promises Justice For #EndSARS Protest Victims
Politics3 days ago
Shooting of #EndSARS Protesters: I called President Buhari Twice, He Was Not Available – Sanwo-Olu
Featured5 days ago
Anthony Joshua and Odion Ighalo Weigh in on Violence in Nigeria as Soldiers Open Fire on Protesters
News4 days ago
#EndSARS Protest: President Buhari Maintains Silence, Hoodlums Go on Rampage
News3 days ago
#EndSars protests Day 15; Pictures from Lekki Toll Gate.