The Super Eagles secured a 1 – 1 draw against the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia in Friday’s African Nations Championship in Rwanda at the Stade Regional Nyamirambo.
The draw means that Nigeria remain top of group C with four points while Tunisia sit second with two points pending the result of the match between Guinea and Niger.
It was an end to end attack as both teams threatened from the beginning of the match only to miss some glorious chances. The Carthage Eagles of Tunisia got in front in the 11th minute but the referee however, disallowed the goal due to an infringement on a Nigerian player.
Super Eagles hattrick hero, Chisom Chikatara, who was expected to replicate his goal scoring feat against Niger was clearly checked by the Tunisian defenders even though he still made a few attempts to put the team in the lead. Defensively, Sunday Oliseh’s stewards were jittery at the back-line as they allowed Tunisia striker, Ahmed Akaichi plenty of room to operate at will.
The North African team showed their more hungry side as they continued to mount more pressure which almost paid off in the 44th minute when they scored but the goal was disallowed by the referee because the ball had crossed the line for a goal kick to end the first half goalless.
At the resumption of the second half, Nigeria continued to succumb to pressure, leaving the Carthage Eagles to dominate possession and they could have snatched the game’s opening goal but Nigerian goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa stood firmly in front of the goalpost.
However, Chikatara scored his fourth goal in the tournament as he pounced on a loosed ball to put Nigeria ahead in the 53rd minute. The goal was a huge relief for the team after lagging behind for a major part of the game.
While the senior national team tried to buy out time by kicking the ball around, the Tunisians were busy piling the pressure which eventually paid off as they equalized in the 69th minute through Akaichi.
After 90 minutes, both teams settled for a 1 – 1 draw to still keep their dream of qualifying for the knock-out stages of the African Nations Championship in Rwanda.
Nigeria’s next game will be against Guinea on Monday, of which a draw or victory will be enough to qualify the team for the quarter final stages.