Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho leveled scores for Nigeria with nine minutes left to play as the Super Eagles came from a goal down to hold the Teranga Lions of Senegal to a 1-1 draw in Thursday’s friendly at The Hive stadium, London.
The Lions started the game brilliantly with Moussa Sow hitting the woodwork early into the game as Nigeria struggled to get going.
Eddy Onazi, the captain of the Eagles, was taken off after receiving a kick from the back, and replaced by John Ogu whose combination with Wilfred Ndidi unsettled the Senegalese at the centre.
Nigeria had no shot on target in the first half as both teams headed into the break level at 0-0.
After the break, Super Eagles goalkeeper Akpeyi, who had made two good saves to stop Senegal from taking the lead, was beaten in the 60th minute after his defenders failed to deal with a corner kick, which left him exposed to Moussa Sow who struck Senegal ahead.
Isaac Success and Olarenwaju Kayode later came off the bench and sparked the Eagles to life, causing Senegal defenders all sort of troubles.
In the 82nd minute, the Eagles finally got back on level terms through Iheanacho who converted from the penalty spot after he was brought down by Senegal’s keeper Pape Seydou.
Nigeria had two good chances to win the game late on but Kayode and Iheanacho wasted what would have secured a well-deserved victory for the Super Eagles against the 2002 FIFA World Cup quarter finalist.
However, the draw means Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr is yet to taste defeat in his four games in charge of the national team.
Rohr, after the game, provided an update on the injury suffered by Onazi. “He suffered a serious back injury,” he said. “He’ll have a scan to ascertain the extent of his injury. We’ll observe Musa too before our next game against Burkina Faso.”
The Eagles will play against Burkina Faso on Monday in their second friendly at The Hive in preparation for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa and also the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cameroon later in the year.