Nigeria Qualifies For AFCON 2023

By: Gyang Dakwo

Nigeria secured qualification to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with a nail-biting 3-2 win over Sierra Leone on Sunday in Monrovia.

Going into this game, Jose Peseiro and his wards knew they only needed a draw to qualify for the 2024 African Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

Goalkeeper Adeleye started in goal for the Super Eagles making his debut while former Chelsea player Kenneth Omeruo captained the Nigerian national team.

The three-time African champions started the duel impressively with the duo of Moses Simon and Osimhen tormenting the defense of the hosts.

Osimhen gave Nigeria the lead in the 19th minute after a wonderful assist from Omeruo, and it was in the 32nd minute that the Napoli man fired in his second goal for the Super Eagles.

Mustapha Bundu pulled one back for Sierra Leone in the 41st minute as the first half ended with Super Eagles taking a 2-1 lead into the dressing room.

The hosts fought back in the second half and got their equalizer in the 84th minute through Augustus Kargbo, but Kelechi Iheanacho broke the hearts of the home fans when he scored the winner for Nigeria at the death.

The win leaves Nigeria at the top of the group, with 12 points, and the Super Eagles face one more group stage game – with qualification already confirmed – when they take on bottom-placed Sao Tome and Principe in September.

The 2023 edition of the continental showpiece starts in Ivory Coast next January.