Football

Paul Onuachu late goal ensured Nigeria top AFCON qualifiers group

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Paul Onuachu (L) celebrates after scoring his first competitive goal for Nigeria against the Benin Republic

The Nigeria Super Eagles Saturday booked their ticket before their match against Benin republic, which they won by a lone goal, at the Charles de Gaulle stadium in Porto Novo.

Lesotho and Sierra Leone had played a barren draw to share the spoils. The result meant that the Super Eagles were guaranteed a second position if they lose their last two matches.

But that wasn’t the case as Paul Onuachu justified his inclusion in the squad with a sublime header in injury time to give Nigeria maximum points.

The win secures the top spot for the Super Eagles in group L, going into the last round of matches in the qualification campaign.

Nigeria will return to Lagos where they will face Lesotho in a mere formality encounter, on matchday 6 on Tuesday, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.

The last time the super eagles played a competitive match in Lagos was 20 years ago, when they defeated Sierra Leone, in a World Cup qualifier.

MORE:  Nigeria World Cup star Ahmed Musa rejoins former club Kano Pillars

15 other nations including six former champions apart from the hosts, Cameroon, have qualified for the apex football tournament in Africa, including the most successful Egypt, Ghana, Tunisia, Algeria and morocco.

Comoros Island and the Gambia will make their first appearance at the Africa soccer fiesta.

What to know about today’s match

  • Nigeria became the first team to beat the Squirrels of Benin at home since 2013.
  • Paul Onuachu finally silences his critics by scoring his first competitive goal, his second goal in 10 appearances for Nigeria.

His first goal was against Egypt in a friendly match in 2019. The Genk of Belgium striker has been in prolific form for his club, scoring 25 goals in 30 appearances.

  • Enyimba FC forward, Anayo Emmanuel Iwuala made his debut for the Super Eagles against Benin Republic.

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