Nigeria emerged triumphant in a thrilling encounter against Sierra Leone, prevailing with a 3-2 scoreline to secure their ticket to play at the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d’Ivoire 2023.
A brace by in-form striker Victor Osimhen helped the Super Eagles to the important awa victory that helped the Super Eagles to win the match and secure their qualification for the tournament to be played in Cote d’Ivoire
Nigeria dominated the early exchanges and in the 19th minute, Osimhen lobbed the ball past Sierra Leone goalkeeper Ibrahim Sessay, igniting jubilation among the Super Eagles contingent.
Just three minutes later, Samuel Chukwueze came close to extending the lead, but his shot veered off target.
With a well-executed assist from Ahmed Musa, Osimhen capitalized on the defense’s neglect and unleashed a magnificent left-footed strike, further cementing the Super Eagles’ advantage.
Osimhen’s brace also propelled him to the top of the scorer rankings with seven goals, surpassing Sadio Mané.
Mustapha Bundu restored hope for the Leone Stars when he struck from the edge of the box to reduce the deficit just before the break.
Sierra Leone emerged from half-time with renewed determination, launching relentless attacks on the Nigerian camp.
Their efforts bore fruit as Augustus Kargbo equalized, leveling the score at 2-2. The momentum clearly favored the Sierra Leoneans, who continued to create opportunities, albeit leaving gaps for the ever-vigilant Super Eagles.
In the end, it was Kelechi Iheanacho who seized the moment, securing Nigeria’s qualification with a crucial goal. This result also guarantees qualification for Guinea-Bissau.