Angry football fans on Friday jeered at the not-so-super Super Eagles of Nigeria outside the stadium, after allowing Leone Stars to come back from a four-goal deficit to a 4 – 4 draw, in a match that showed an unco-ordinated defence line.
The fans waylaid and sang derisive songs as the players drove out of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in the Edo State capital. Fans were not allowed into the stadium to watch the match in line with Covid-19 protocols.
The match showed the lack of technical and tactical depth of the coaching crew as it appeared the players were individual stars on display. A new discovery, however, was Zaidu Sanusi who showed sparks of stardom from his left flank.
The Sierra Leonean team came in more business-like in the second half, appearing rough initially, but making a mess of the Super Eagles defence. Upfront, the attackers made a mess of chances to increase the tally.
Gerhnot Rohr, whose retention as coach, has often drawn criticisms from some football buffs, busied himself shouting at the sidelines, while Captain Ahmed Musa was, for most time, absent from the pitch, before his replacement in the second half of the match. In that half, the Nigerians appeared to lose steam under the searing Benin heat.
The Eagles looked to be cruising in the first half thanks to a brace from Alex Iwobi and goals from Samuel Chukwueze and Victor Osimhen before the visitors started the fightback.
The Eagles got off to a very good start in the 5th minute as Iwobi pounced on a loose ball to score from the edge of the box and dictated the pace of the game.
Sierra Leone, however, clawed their way back and almost drew level in the 21st minute through Al-Hadji Kamara who had all the time in the world, but volleyed over from inside the box following a cross from Buya Turay.
A minute after Kamara’s miss the Eagles doubled their lead thanks to Osimhen who finished at the far post off a low cross from Zaidu Sanusi.
Iwobi grabbed his brace in the 28th minute to make it 3-0 after curling into the top corner inside the box.
The Eagles continued to pile on pressure on their opponents and were once again rewarded in the 31st minute, this time through Chukwueze.
This was after he received a flick from Osimhen and went on a solo run before putting the ball past the Sierra Leone goalkeeper.
However, with two minutes left in the first half, Sierra Leone pulled a goal back which came off the boot of Quee Kwame after an Eagles’ player lost possession in a dangerous area.
Osimhen almost got his brace early in the second half after getting to the end of Ahmed Musa’s free-kick, but his header came off the bar.
On the hour mark, the Eagles made a double substitution as Semi Ajayi replaced Leon Balogun, while Kelechi Iheanacho came in for Musa.
Sierra Leone got their second goal in the 72nd minute to make it 4-2 after a cross by Kevin Wright was met with a great header by Kamara.
The Eagles were forced to make another change as Osimhen came off the field injured, and was replaced by Chidera Ejike.
The Leone Stars scored again to make it 4-3 off Mustapha Bundu’s stunning goal and in the 86th minute Kamara got his second to complete a stunning 4-4 comeback which left the Eagles shell-shocked.
However, the result did not go down well with football fans that throng the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium to support the Super Eagles.
TNG reports that the fans blocked the entrance to the stadium and restricted the Super Eagles from leaving the stadium.
After intervention, officials were able to prevail over the fans before they were let out of the stadium.
As the Super Eagles were leaving the stadium, the fans were heard chanting “dem don dey go one by one”.
▪︎ Additional reports by The NewsGuru