June 09, (THEWILL) – Nigeria overcame Sierra Leone 2-1 to start their qualification campaign for the TotalEnergies 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on a positive note at the M.K.O Abiola Stadium thanks to goals from Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen.
John Keister’s Leone Stars opened the encounter on a high note, riding high on a remarkable run that saw them win their last two matches in all competitions against Liberia and Congo heading into the Abuja fixture. Yet, they may have conceded a second minute penalty, if referee Ibrahim Traore did not ignore John Kamara’s seemingly handling the ball in their box.
The deadlock was broken in the 11th minute as the visitors took advantage of lapses in the Nigerian defence, with Jonathan Morsay beating Uzoho from close range after Musa Kamara set him up for the opener. However, just five minutes after Moses Simon teed up Alex Iwobi, who weaved his way through the Leone Stars’ defence before putting the ball beyond the goalkeeper.
Nigeria appeared re-energised as the game approached halftime, and inched ahead in the 41st minute. Simon supplied another assist for Osimhen to score. Samuel Chukwueze had the chance to make it three after a pass from Osimhen in the 51st minute, but with just the goalkeeper to beat, he failed to convert.
Peseiro’s first win as Super Eagles’ coach was sealed with Sierra Leone unable to find their way back despite the introduction of Amadou Bakayoko, Mustapha Bundu, and Augustus Kargbo, leaving Nigeria on top of Group A. Up next is Sao Tome and Principe at the Stade Adrar in Agadir on Monday, June 13.