NIGERIA’S Super Eagles suffered a major setback in their quest to qualify for the 2017 African Cup of Nations after only managing a 1-1 draw with Egypt at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna in the first leg of a qualification match.
In a big blow for Nigeria’s teaming number of football fans, the Eagles conceded an injury time goal from Egypt’s Mohamed Salah to share they points. After a goalless first half, Nigeria took the lead in the 60th minute through Oghenekaro Etebo but as they surged forward in search of another goal, the team was left open at the back.
This draw now piles the pressure on Nigeria ahead of Tuesday second leg in Alexandra with the Eagles now needing a win to go top of the group. Nigeria currently has five points from three games compared with Egypt’s seven and with only the group winner certain to qualify, an away victor is now compulsory.
Former international, Victor Ikpeba, said, however, that he was impressed with the spirit with which the Eagles approached yesterday’s game. He added that the team was coasting home to a 1-0 victory before AS Roma winger Salah equalised and believes the Samson Siasia led side can still get a victory in Alexandria on Tuesday.
Ikpeba who scored a goal considered as one of the best ever by a Nigerian player against Egypt in an Atlanta ’96 Olympic qualifier in Cairo said the Eagles should be proud of themselves despite of the result of last night’s game. Currently a member of the Nigerian Football Federation’s Technical and Development Committee, Ikpeba commending Siasia for building a squad within a short period of time assured that if the Eagles sustain their momentum on Tuesday, they will get the three points.
“Difficult game but the boys did very well. We should be proud of them and congrats to Siasia for a good job in a short time,” Ikpeba said.