All is set for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying tie between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone this afternoon and the renovated samuel ogbemudia stadium in Benin City
Previous results between Nigeria and Sierra Leone hwhich is overwhelmingly in favour of the Eagles with nine wins, three draws, and two losses in international friendly games, World Cup qualifiers, and AFCON would ordinarily compel soccer pundits to believe that todays game is a walk over for the Eagles.
Both nations met for the first time in 1961 in a friendly match in Freetown and Sierra Leone were overwhelmed 4-2 and the Eagles remained unbeaten against them for 26 years before the Leone Stars secured their maiden win (2-0) on 18th July 1987 in an AFCON qualifier.
The defeat turned out to be inconsequential because the Green Eagles had beaten the same team 3-0 in the first leg played two weeks earlier in Lagos and thus advanced to the 1988 AFCON in Morocco 3-2 on aggregate.
They snatched another rare victory on 21st April 2001 when the Eagles stumbled to a 1-0 defeat at the Siaka Stevens Stadium, Freetown in a 2002 World Cup qualifier. Both last met in a competitive fixture in 2008 in a 2010 World Cup qualifier which the Eagles triumphed 4-1. But there was still a friendly game in 2011 which marked the beginning of the Samson Siasia reign as Eagles coach then.
Football as they say is no mathematics and that supposedly minnows are striving harder to catch up to ensure they improve in the CAF/ FIFA monthly rankings through getting surprise results against ‘big’ teams like the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
The super eagles is in high spirit ahead of today’s game as all key players expected for the game are in camp training behind closed doors.
Nigerian players have been talking tough ahead of the tie with Captain Ahmed Musa admitting they do not have much information on their opponent but the team have resolved to win the two ties to qualify for AFCON 2021
One thing that will be conspicously missing in today’s game is the absence of the usual home crowed at the famous samuel ogbemudia stadium due to the ncdc covid-19 restrictions