Super Eagles, Likuena wrap up AFCONQ campaigns

Super Eagles, Likuena wrap up AFCONQ campaigns
Paul Onuachu of Nigeria celebrates goal with teammates during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier between Benin and Nigeria at Stade Charles de Gaulle,Porto-Novo,Benin,on 27 March 2021 ©BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Mar 29, 2021. 14:00

Nigeria and Lesotho will wrap up their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaigns when they meet in a final Group L match at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on Tuesday 30 March 2021, kick-off at 18:00 CAT.

Neither the Super Eagles nor Likuena have anything other than pride to play for: the West African heavyweights have already qualified for Cameroon 2022 and will finish top of the standings regardless of this game’s result, while Likuena have been mathematically eliminated.

Nigeria come into the clash on the back of a 1-0 win away to Benin in Porto-Novo this past Saturday, with Paul Onuachu rising off the bench to score the winner deep into injury time.

“I’m just going to say thanks to the nation for the push, they really pushed me to show what I have to show. National team, I did it, I am so happy for the team and for the country,” said Onuachu, who was only given a late call into the squad to replace Moses Simon.

“It’s a lot of confidence for a striker to score and I’m very happy. We just have to go there (AFCON) and take the gold.”

Lesotho, meanwhile, were held 0-0 at home by Sierra Leone in Maseru on Saturday (a result which took place earlier in the day and confirmed Nigeria’s qualification before they had even kicked off in Benin).

Likuena will hope to claim a positive result in Lagos, which could be enough to avoid the wooden spoon depending on the result of the other Group L match between Sierra Leone and Benin in Freetown.


In fact, the clash between the Leone Stars and the Squirrels will take most attention on Tuesday evening, with the hosts looking for a victory to claim a first qualification for the AFCON since 1996.

In head-to-head stats, Nigeria and Lesotho have met in three previous international matches dating back to 2006. The Super Eagles have won all three matches, including a 4-2 triumph in Maseru in these qualifiers back in November 2019, with goals from Alex Iwobi, Samuel Chukwueze and Victor Osimhen (two).

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