Tunisia Struggled To Hold Nigeria 1-1 In Their Friendly Match
The Nigerian Super Eagles were forced to draw against Tunisia on Tuesday in a friendly in Austria. The game was an improvement over the team’s 0-1 loss to African champion Algeria last Friday.
Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho put Nigeria in the lead with his well-drilled shot inside the box after two misdirected shots from Samuel Chukwueze and Zaidu Sanusi early in the game.
After receiving a pass with three Carthage Eagles defenders crowding him, Iheanacho turned Dylane Brown and shot with his left foot on goalkeeper Ben Mustapha Farouk for Nigeria’s only goal of the clash in the 21st minute.
It was the Leicester man’s ninth goal for the senior team since he graduated from the U-17 category.
The Tunisians responded well to Nigeria’s lead with captain Youssef Msakni, Wabil Khazri, Issama Haddadi and Mohamed Drajer, all posing all kinds of problems for the Super Eagles defense with their pace, deception and telepathic passes.
But the changes made by coach Gernot Rohr seemed to have worked, as Kenneth Omeruo was at the heart of central defense alongside Leon Balogun, while with new Kevin Akpoguma, who debuted against Algeria last Friday, he was soaking up the heat. on the right side.
He started in place of Tyronne Ebuehi, while another new boy, Zaidu Sanusi, kept watch from the rear left.
However, in the 29th minute, Iheanacho missed the chance to put Nigeria up by two goals when his timid penalty flew into the hands of the Tunisian goalkeeper.
Farouk had dropped Ahmed Musa as he controlled Alex Iwobi’s deep pass into the box to give Nigeria the well-deserved penalty.
As the clock drew closer in the first half, Drajer saw his corner kick fly away, a sweet play from Moses Simon and Iheanacho was decoded by an alert rearguard from the Carthage Eagles, while Maduka Okoye on Nigeria’s goal. saved Khazri.
But there was still time to turn around, as the effervescent Hamza Rafia edged Omeruo down the line and gave Drajer to hit the net for the Tunisian draw.
The second half was no less interesting. Iheanacho got up to receive the ball from a corner, but he narrowly headed and on the other end, Drajer scored sideways. Musa, in his 93rd international game for Nigeria, looked good to put Nigeria ahead in the 67th minute, but lacked the pace to face a good pass from Iheanacho.
Both teams showed courage and intention, with some flashy touches, good marking, skillful use of space and some individual brilliance.
At the full-time point, the Carthage Eagles came pretty close to hitting him, but Okoye, winning only his third international game with Nigeria, was alert enough to knock the bar over with a deception from Naim Sliti.
Although the tactical formation of Rohr’s team for the night seemed strange, two more new players (Cyril Dessers and Chidera Ejuke) debuted to make a total of six additional quality players for the Super Eagles.
Zaidu Sanusi, Frank Onyeka, Kevin Akpoguma and Samson Tijani played Algeria on Friday night.
Super Eagles vs Tunisia: Maduka Okoye – Zaidu Sanusi (Jamilu Collins 66), Kevin Akpoguma, Kenneth Omeruo, Leon Balogun (Chidozie Awaziem 57) – Semi Ajayi – Alex Iwobi, Samuel Chukwueze (Chidera Ejuke 78), Moses Simon, Kelechi Iheanacho – Ahmed Musa (Cyriel Dessers 72)