2021 Afcon qualifier: Super Eagles gear for Lesotho showdown


Nigeria’s Super Eagles have landed in the capital of Lesotho, Maseru for Sunday’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against the country’s senior team, known as Crocodiles.

The Crocodiles themselves have just returned from Freetown, where they earned an inspiring point in a 1-1 draw with the Leone Stars on Day 1 of the campaign on Wednesday.

On the same day, the Super Eagles edged Benin Republic 2-1 in an intense encounter at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo to go top of the qualifying pool. France –based duo of Victor Osimhen (from the spot) and Samuel Kalu (angled low drive) secured the win for Nigeria after the Squirrels had taken a second minute lead through Stephane Sessegnon.

The chartered Max Air aircraft that flew the delegation had a stop-over in Angola but safely arrived in Maseru on Saturday afternoon, and players and officials were immediately ferried to their Avani Lesotho hotel.

Nigeria were scheduled to have the official training at the match venue – Maseru-Setsoto Stadium – at 7pm Lesotho time (6pm in Nigeria) on Saturday.

Sunday’s encounter will kick off at 6pm Lesotho time (5pm in Nigeria), and it is exactly one year to the day that the Super Eagles secured a 1-1 draw with South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in Johannesburg to grab a ticket to this year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt, where they finished third and with the bronze medals.

Nigeria forward Ahmed Musa is wary of the conditions that will welcome him and his teammates in Maseru, with the match to take place on a synthetic surface.

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”As you can see, it was a tough game for the team today [against Benin] but at the end of ninety minutes we have three points so we are going over there [Lesotho] to have another win because we know that the game is going to be very tough,” Musa said on Wednesday evening.

”We are going to play on an artificial pitch, it is not that easy because some of the players are not used to playing on a synthetic pitch.

”But we know what everybody expects from us so we are going there to do our best to win.”

The Confederation of African Football has named 41 –year old Botswanan official, Joshua Bondo as the referee, with Bondo’s compatriots Meshack Medupi, Mogomotsi Morakile and Tshepo Mokani Gobagoba as assistant referee 1, assistant referee 2 and fourth official respectively.

Johannes Jakob Vries from Namibia will serve as match commissioner while South African Carlos Henriques will be referee assessor.


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Olusola 'Jide

I'm an avid and seasoned sports/ multimedia journalist. I have a biased love for Real Madrid and passionate advocate for the overall growth of the Nigeria Sports Project. I can be reached on 09077894123 or/and 'info@thesportsbay.com'

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