Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Nigeria draw with Tunisia 1-1


Nigeria played out a 1-1 draw against Tunisia in their second international friendly game in October on Tuesday night.

Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho’s opener was cancelled out by Mohamed Drager's effort at the Jacques Lemans Arena.

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr made five changes to the team that lost against African champions Algeria on Friday.

Leganes centre-back Kenneth Omeruo replaced Watford summer signing William Troost Ekong, who was permitted to return to his club ahead of their Championship game against Derby County on Friday.

Moses Simon was included in the starting XI after Bordeaux winger Samuel Kalu was allowed to depart the Super Eagles camp following the knock he suffered against the Desert Foxes.

Hoffenheim centre-back Kevin Akpoguma was preferred ahead of Twente’s Tyronne Ebuehi while Ahmed Musa captained the side.

Sparta Rotterdam shot-stopper Maduka Okoye retained his place in goal while Iheanacho spearheaded the Super Eagles attack as Paul Onuachu was dropped to the bench.  

Al Shabab FC goalkeeper Farouk Mustapha started in goal for Tunisia and Saint-Etienne forward Wahbi Khazri led the attack.

The Super Eagles took the game to their opponents and dominated the opening proceedings, forcing Hamza Rafia to receive the first caution of the game in the 10th minute as he struggled to stop Simon.

Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze came close to opening the scoring in the fifth minute when he aimed a shot at goal from outside the box but his effort missed the target.

The moment eventually came for the Super Eagles when Musa set up Iheanacho in the 21st minute for the opening goal of the encounter. The Leicester City attacker made a nice turn before firing home his effort past goalkeeper Mustapha.

Rohr’s men were handed a glorious opportunity to double their lead when Musa was brought down in the box by Tunisia goalkeeper Mustapha but Iheanacho failed to convert his strike from the penalty spot.

Moments before the half time break, Drager levelled for the Carthage Eagles after Rafia capitalized on Omeruo’s mistake to set up the Olympiakos defender, who struck past Okoye.

Nigeria made a number of changes after the restart as they aimed for victory, with Rangers centre-back Leon Balogun making way for Boavista’s Chidozie Awaziem.

Paderborn’s Jamilu Collins was also introduced for Porto left-back Zaidu Sanusi while Genk forward Cyriel Dessers was handed his debut after replacing Musa.

It was, however, Tunisia who came close to securing victory in the encounter when Drager attempted to lob the ball over Okoye but the 21-year-old was at his best to deny him and keep the scoreline at 1-1.

The Super Eagles will hope to bounce back to winning ways when they take on Sierra Leone in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game in November.


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