Victor Osimhen and Alex Iwobi strike in Super Eagles’ win over Sierra Leone

Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen scored after Jonathan Morsay’s early opener for the Leone Stars, tying the hosts for first place in Group A with Guinea-Bissau, who thrashed Sao Tome & Principe 5-1.

Nigeria came from a goal down to overcome Sierra Leone, 2-1 in their first qualifying match for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, on Thursday evening at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.

Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen scored for the Super Eagles after Jonathan Morsay’s early opener for the Leone Stars. The win takes Nigeria to joint-top in Group A with Guinea-Bissau, who thrashed Sao Tome & Principe 5-1.

Sierra Leone seemed to adjust more swiftly to the rough playing surface, as striker Mohamed Buya Turay tried to open the scoring in the third minute, with Francis Uzoho tipping his effort over the crossbar.

The Super Eagles had a few of chances through Victor Osimhen, and it looked like they’d take control of the game shortly, but they were startled when the Leone Stars took the lead in the 11th minute.

Musa Kamara whipped in a superb cross from the left flank and Jonathan Morsay rushed himself at the ball and scored with a diving header to put the visitors up 1-0. 

Just a few minutes later, Sierra Leone broke through Nigeria’s defense on a counter-attack, and Musa Kamara hit a low effort that Uzoho tipped onto the post.

In the 16th minute, Alex Iwobi was put into space on the edge of the box after Simon made a well-weighted ball, and blasted a shot into the bottom corner of the net.

After exchanging half-chances, Nigeria took the lead for the first time in the 41st minute when Ola Aina’s cross found Simon, who added a second assist with a downward header across the six-yard box that was buried home by Osimhen to make it 2-1.

The Super Eagles tweaked their set up at the start of the second half, with Sadiq Umar being replaced by Peter Etebo.

Nigeria had half chances to kill off the game in the secondhalf, but one that was so clear was the miss by Samuel Chukwueze in the 54th minute. 

William Troost-Ekong (groin) and Osimhen (hamstring) both suffered injuries at the tale end of the game and were replaced by Kenneth Omeruo and Terem Moffi.

Nigeria’s next game is away at Sao Tome & Principe, while Sierra Leone will host Guinea-Bissau.

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International Friendly Mexico pip resilient Super Eagles in Dallas

Despite the Super Eagles’ weakened squad, the encounter was a great test for the West African nation.

The Super Eagles’ poor start ensured that the El Tri took control of the game early on and scored the crucial opener.

For long stretches in the first half, the Super Eagles were second best to the Mexicans, who enjoyed the support of the home crowd in Texas.

Nigeria, who had numerous players travel long distances to get to the United States, started with a back three but was beaten in the 12th minute by Santiago Jimenez and conceded many shots to the Mexicans in the early minutes.

In the first half of the game, the Super Eagles had no shots, while the Mexicans had eight, four of which were on target.

In the opening session, Nigeria’s line leader, Cyriel Dessers, struggled to muster any notable moments as the Mexicans quenched the Super Eagles’ attacks and foiled their danger men. Going into the game, the Feyenoord attacker had hardly had enough rest and training sessions.

As the game progressed, the back three of William Troost-Ekong, Semi Ajayi, and Chidozie Awaziem looked good and composed, while Moses Simon and Calvin Bassey at wing-back provided the Eagles with interesting options pushing forward.

Innocent Bonke, Alex Iwobi, and Joe Aribo battled to keep up with the game’s speed in the first but appeared more lively in the final 15 minutes of the first half.

In other times, Terem Moffi, who played slightly behind Dessers, proved to be a solid link between the midfield and attack, receiving the ball and bringing others on nicely.

The Mexicans dominated the early exchanges in the second half, much as they had done in the first.

Nigeria, on the other hand, put together some terrific offensive plays, with Calvin Bassey beating his man before providing an inch-perfect cross for Dessers.

As the Mexican goalie fumbled the ball, the Feyenoord man banged in a powerful header that looked too hot to handle.

Only three minutes after the Super Eagles had restored parity, Mexico took the lead again when William Troost-Ekong scored an awful own goal while defending a cross from a Mexican player.

After an Innocent Bonke injury forced Jose Peseiro’s hands as he tweaked several systems in the squad formation in the second half.

Sani Faisal came on for the injured Lorient star.

After Bonke’s departure, Alex Iwobi sat in the defensive midfield and did an excellent job alongside midfield partner Joe Aribo.

The Nigerians then began to sit deeper in the game and aiming to catch the Mexicans on the break.

Later in the second half, Chiamaka Madu, Ishaq Rafiu, and Victor Mbaoma all came on, with Rafiu looking the brightest of the three.

After replacing Terem Moffi, his deception helped open some openings in the Mexican defense. Mbaoma took over for Dessers, although he was unable to participate in the game due to Mexico’s dominance for long periods of time.

In the 84th minute, Ekong made a fantastic block off a Lainez shot to keep the Super Eagles from losing by a larger score.

Despite the Super Eagles’ weakened squad as evidenced by their formation, the encounter was a solid test for the West African nation , with some fascinating discoveries for the coaches to ponder on.

Nigeria’s next international friendly match will be against Ecuador on Friday. 

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Jose Peseiro appointed as Super Eagles Head Coach

Peseiro is expected to lead out the Super Eagles for the first time during the upcoming tour of the United States of America.

The Nigeria Football Federation have appointed Portuguese, Jose Peseiro as the new Super Eagles Head Coach.

Peseiro was earlier reported to have accepted to take charge of the World Cup qualifiers, but nothing good came forth as a result of the clash between the Ministry of Sports and the NFF.

With this development, it means the former assistant to Jose Mourinho has been able to come to agreement with the NFF and the Minister over his contract clauses.

With this development, it means the former assistant to Jose Mourinho has been able to come to agreement with the NFF and the Minister over his contract clauses.

He is no minnow in African football as he guided Al Ahly to the Egyptian Premier League in the 2015–16 season before leading Porto to a Taça de Portugal second placed finish in the 2015–16 season.

Peseiro’s last job was being the head coach of the Venezuela men’s national team but parted ways with the South-American country In August 2021.

His first task will be to lead Nigeria to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations and then possibly win it.

Peseiro is expected to lead out the Super Eagles for the first time during the upcoming tour of the United States of America.

The 61-year-old has previously coached in Saudi Arabia and was between 2003 and 2004 assistant coach of Real Madrid.

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Jose Peseiro: NFF appoints Portuguese tactician as new Super Eagles Head Coach

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have announced the appointment of Portuguese tactician Jose Peseiro as Super Eagles head coach.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have announced the appointment of Portuguese tactician Jose Peseiro as the new Super Eagles head coach.

In a press statement on Wednesday evening, the NFF noted that Peseiro will be at the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) as an observer, while Augustine Eguavoen, will be in the dug-out as the Super Eagles manager, but revert to his technical director status when the tournament ends.

The statement reads in part:

“After careful consideration of a memo presented by Chairman of the Technical and Development Sub-Committee, the Executive Committee endorsed a proposal for the appointment of Mr Jose Peseiro as the new Head Coach of the Super Eagles, following the end to the relationship with Mr Gernot Rohr.”

“However, the Committee resolved that Mr Augustine Eguavoen, named the interim Head Coach, will lead the Super Eagles to the AFCON 2021 in Cameroon with Mr Peseiro only playing the role of Observer.

“It was unanimously agreed that the AFCON is a good avenue for Mr Peseiro to launch a working relationship with Mr Eguavoen, who will revert to his role as Technical Director (hence Mr Peseiro’s immediate boss) after the AFCON.”

The 61-years-old Portuguese boasts of a long-lasting coaching career that spans but club and country football. He was an assistant coach at Real Madrid in the 2003/2004 season, he led Sporting Lisbon to the final of the Europa League in 2005, he won the Portuguese cup with Sporting Braga in 2013 before coming to Africa to coach Al Ahly in 2015. There, he won the league title despite spending only one season (2015/2016).

At the national team level, he notably coached Saudi Arabia and most recently Venezuela whom he led to the 2021 Copa America group stage.

In August 2021, he resigned from his post as head coach after having not been paid for over a year amidst Venezuela’s economic crisis.

Peseiro replaces Gernot Rohr, the Franco-German, who was sacked on December 12.