2018 CHAN: Okoro’s brilliance rescues Yusuf’s Eagles in the hands of a Selected XI

2018 CHAN: Okoro’s brilliance rescues Yusuf’s Eagles in the hands of a Selected XI

Nigeria’s Super Eagles B were on Tuesday held to a 1-1 draw by a Kano selected side in their final warm-up game, before they face Benin Republic in an African Nations Championships qualifier next Sunday.

The team of locally based professionals, coached by Salisu Yusuf came from behind to force the draw at the Sani Abacha stadium, venue of the return leg encounter against Benin on August 19.

The Eagles fell behind just before half time when a defensive slip allowed Auwalu Ali to slot the ball beyond Lobi Stars goalkeeper Okiemute Odah, who had replaced team captain Ikechukwu Ezenwa midway through the half.

Eagles’ handlers used the test match to feature three of the four invited goalkeepers, with Plateau United’s Dele Ajiboye who had a sterling outing for his team against Kano Pillars on Sunday replacing Odah in the second half.

The Nigerian side that started in the friendly had players that were not in action for their clubs on Sunday. This list includes Ezenwa, ABS’ Chinedu Ajanah and Katsina United’s Nasiru Sani.

Wholesale changes were made to the team for the second half and with seconds left to end the game, two Rangers players worked out the leveler. Striker Ifeanyi George was upended at the edge of the penalty box and his club mate, Osas Okoro (arguably Nigeria’s best player at 2016 CHAN in Rwanda) curled home a superb free kick to save the day for Yusuf’s men.

The team will continue their preparations in Kano before flying to Lagos from Kano later in the week from where they will go to Cotonou by road for Sunday’s match the Stade de l’Amitie.

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