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Int’l Friendly: Iheanacho scores to preserve unbeaten record for Nigeria

BellaNaija.com

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Photo credit: Twitter- @NGSuperEagles

The Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Teranga Lions of Senegal on Thursday played out a 1-1 draw in an international friendly in London.

Senegal’s playmaker Moussa Sow had put his team in front in the 54th minute of the game before a hard fighting Kelechi Iheanacho stole the show for the Nigerian side after he converted a penalty kick in the 83rd minute for the equaliser.

The match played at The Hive, home ground of Barnet Football Club saw the Teranga Lions dominate in full control of the first half and also hitting the Nigerian post.

The Senegalese effort paid off early in the second half when Sow found the back of the Eagles net before Iheanacho restored parity for the Gernot Rohr’s tutored side minutes to the end of the encounter.

There was, however, a sad moment in the encounter as team’s stand-in captain, Ogenyi Onazi, was stretched off the pitch after he was injured in the first half.

Elderson Echiejile was later handed the captain’s armband after Onazi’s exit.

Leicester City winger, Ahmed Musa, had stepped down as assistant captain of the Super Eagles team just before kick-off. Musa was appointed as assistant captain to John Obi Mikel exactly one year ago. He had replaced Vincent Enyeama as skipper before handing over to Mikel Obi while he becomes the assistant.

The Super Eagles will next take on the Etalons of Burkina Faso on Monday at the same venue.

The friendly games have been arranged to get the Eagles prepared for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier and the 2018 World Cup qualifiers which will start in June and August respectively.

The friendlies will be the Eagles’ first games this year, as the last time they played was in the 3-1 win over Algeria last November in their second group game of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

For Rohr, whose side play Burkina Faso in a friendly once again in Barnet on Monday, it extends his unbeaten run since taking over last August to four, including two victories in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers over Zambia and Algeria which sees them four points clear of their rivals.

He had invited 25 players for the Senegal and Burkina Faso friendly games. Mikel Obi was not among the 25 invited players, while Victor Moses pleaded to be excused from the match.

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