By Richard Ajegena
The Super Eagles of Nigeria are set to tackle Lesotho in Match Day Two of the qualifiers for the 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) today (Sunday). Kick-off is set for 5pm Nigeria time.
The last time – and the only time until now – Nigeria played in Maseru, they beat Lesotho with the only goal of the match coming through Yakubu Aiyegbeni’s 50th minute penalty. That was on October 8, 2006 in the qualifiers for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations. The Super Eagles won the second leg 2-0 at the Warri Township Stadium on September 8, 2007 with goals from Stephen Ayodele Makinwa and Ikechukwu Uche. Nigeria finished at the top team in Group 3 in the qualification for Ghana 2008.
Nigerian football has suffered reverses in recent time – both male and female teams failing to qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the home-based team disappointing in the continent. The Super Eagles will therefore be under pressure to put smiles on the faces of their compatriots as they file out at Setsoto Stadium, a 20,000-sitting multi-purpose facility in Maseru.
Nigeria struggled to win their first match out of the last three on Wednesday. Their 2-1 defeat of Benin Republic in Uyo however placed them on top of the table as both Sierra Leone and Lesotho settled for a draw. The Crocodiles will therefore be more desperate to have the better of the Eagles in Maseru this evening.
In the other match of the group, the Squirrels of Benin Republic will strive to win their first points after squandering an early lead against Nigeria in Uyo, while Sierra Leone that also surrendered an advantage in added time against Lesotho will be determined to win this time.