Thursday, April 18, 2024

Sierra Leone 2-3 Nigeria: Facts As Super Eagles Book 2023 AFCON Spot

In the last three major tournaments the Super Eagles featured – the Russia 2018 and Africa Cup of Nations 2019 and 2021, qualifications were obtained ahead of conclusion of series.

A 2-3 win over Sierra Leone was enough to hand the Super Eagles of Nigeria a spot at the 2023 AFCON. Here are three observations from the game in Monrovia.


After racing into a two-goal lead in 33 minutes courtesy of a Victor Osimhen brace, a leaking Nigerian defence left goalkepeer Adebayo Adeleye exposed for Sierra Leone to level scores.

Peseiro has work to do on this defence ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, else Osimhen and the forwards will bang goals only to be let down by the defence.


In-form Napoli striker scored two goals to push closer to the coveted Nigeria all-time goals record held by Late Rashidi Yekini.

A look back at his first goal vs Sierra Leone shows a poacher who has age and potential on his side to become Nigeria’s all-time goal-scorer.

Caretaker observes the Italian Serie A top-scorer was the rallying point to Nigeria’s win , his goals covering the wasteful finishing by Moses Simon and Samuel Chukwueze in Monrovia.


Finally, Caretaker observes the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Sierra Leone Vs Nigeria was a great game by all African Football standards.

First , as expected in an open game, five goals were scored. That itself telling a story of two teams who took to the set-up to attack at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium in Monrovia.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will now prepare for the 2023 AFCON proper, it is expedient for Pesiero to work on noticed weak links else the Eagles will not fly in Ivory Coast.

  • When Sierra Leone held Nigeria to a 4-4 draw at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in 2022, it was the highest number of goals Nigeria conceded at home since their 6-1 home defeat to in Lagos in 1959.
  • Both teams had their first international encounter facing each other 73 years, eight months and 11 days ago today.
  • Both teams first met on 8 October 1949 when the Nigerian side made a stopover in Freetown in their return voyage from UK.
  • The match at Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium in Monrovia, Liberia  was the 25th encounter of both teams. Nigeria’s Super Eagles have the upper hand, winning 15, drawing seven times and losing just two.
  • Nigerian football legend, Segun Odegbami, second highest scorer for the national team scored the first of his 21 goals for Nigeria in a World Cup qualifying match against Sierra Leone on 30 October 1976.
  • Segun Odegbami made his international debut for Nigeria when he came in as a 40th minute substitute for Baba Otu Mohammed in a 16 October 1976 World Cup qualifier in Freetown.
  • Former Africa Cup of Nations’ best left winger, Kunle Awesu played his last international match for Nigeria in a 30 October 1976 World Cup qualifier against Sierra Leone in Lagos.
  • It was against Sierra Leone on 30 October 1976 that Muda Lawal  first started a match for Nigeria from the bench . He later came in for Christian Madu in the 73rd minute.
  • Sierra Leone spelt doom for former Nigeria’s Dutch coach, Johannes Bonfrere who last handled the Super Eagles when the team lost 1-0 on 21 April 2001 in a World Cup qualifying duel in Freetown.
  • The match against Sierra Leone was the last that Peterside Idah played for Nigeria on 21 April 2001.
  • The duel  was Nigeria’s 121st  Africa Cup of Nations’ qualifying match. For Sierra Leone, it was their 81st  in the qualifying series since their debut entry for the 1974 edition.
  • When the Super Eagles played against Sierra Leone in 2020, it was the fourth time an Africa Cup of Nation qualifying match was played in Benin City. The first time was when the then Green Eagles played a goalless outing with Morocco on 14 August 1983. The second time was the 1-0 defeat of Madagascar on 2 June 2001 while the third was the 2-2 draw with Angola on 21 June 2003 in the qualifying duel for Tunisia 2004.
  • Although Nigeria defeated Sierra Leone 2-0 when they first met 74 years ago, an own goal by Sierra Leone’s Ashman was Nigeria’s first ever international goal. Tesilimi Balogun scored the second goal.
  • Nigeria’s Joseph Yobo goes into the record book as the first player to score for both Sierra Leone and Nigeria in a competitive series. Yobo scored Nigeria’s lone goal in the 1-0 defeat of Sierra Leone in Freetown in a 7 June 2008 World Cup qualifying match. In the reversed leg played on 11 October 2008 in Abuja, Yobo scored an own goal in the 4-1 defeat of Sierra Leone.

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