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Just In: Super Eagles defeats Lesotho 3-0, maintains lead on AFCON qualifiers group

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Nigerian national team, Super Eagles, has defeated their Lesotho counterpart to maintain a lead on the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group L qualifiers for the 2022 tournament scheduled to hold in Cameroon.

To ensure victory, Victor Osimhen, Oghenekaro Etebo and Paul Onuachu scored to see off their opponent with a classy display to mark their return to Lagos State for competitive encounter after about 20 years.

With the 3-0 victory against the Crocodile of Lesotho, the Super Eagles ended their campaign in style with 14 points recording four wins and two draws.

It was a very comfortable evening’s work for the Super Eagles who ended their qualifying campaign for the Africa Cup of Nations with a 3-0 triumph over Group L’s bottom side, Lethoso.

A goal from Man of the Match, and constant danger, Victor Osimhen, at the 23rd minutes of the game was added to by Oghenekaro Etebo at exact five minutes into the second half while Paul Onuachu added the third goal less than seven minutes to end of play time, 83 minutes, the second within four days to further cement the victory for the team.

Few hours before the game, Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, was delighted after receiving greenlight from Confederation of African Football (CAF) to go ahead and field Everton winger, Alex Iwobi, who had been a doubt until a late negative covid-19 test came through, in from the start.

Following his introduction and partnership with Kelechi Iheanacho and their Napoli striker, Osinmen, ensured that the visitor never had time to settle into the game and 23 minutes after, they had a breakthrough.

It would be recalled that their first game against tiny Lesotho ended in a 4-2 victory away as, even though Nigeria looked superb going forward, they were undone twice at the back against the minnows.

Defensive failings again haunted them against Sierra Leone at home last year, as they took a 4-0 lead, only to fall to a 4-4 draw after a remarkable comeback by the Leone Stars and a shocking collapse by the hosts.

Away in Sierra Leone, they lacked attacking impetus and were held 0-0, although qualification was already wrapped up before the weekend’s trip to Benin.

In this clash, they won 1-0 thanks to Onuachu’s 93rd-minute winner, although even that goal—and ending Benin’s eight-year undefeated streak at home—wasn’t enough to overcome the failings of Gernot Rohr’s attacking unit.

On the day, the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Chukwueze and Victor Osimhen lacked cohesion, although one reason may have been the absence of creator-in-chief Alex Iwobi.

When the Nigeria vs Lesotho lineup was announced on Tuesday, however, Iwobi was included, and fans were hopeful that he could have a big impact in the fixture at Lagos.

Ultimately, he perhaps didn’t excel as he might have done, with his link-up with Zaidu Sanusi down the Eagles’ left flank not quite influencing the contest as some had anticipated.

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