Nigeria Super Eagles were held to a 1-1 draw by the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia in their second friendly game of this FIFA International window played in the European nation, Austria.
Gernot Rohr’s Eagles had lost their first friendly match of 2020 last Friday against African champions Algeria in Klagenfurt, Austria and they would have thought of a win when Kelechi Iheanacho gave them the lead against Tunisia in the 21st minute at the Jacques Lemans Arena in St. an der Glan, Austria.
Iheanacho, making his first start for the Super Eagles in almost two years received a back-heeled pass from captain for the night Ahmed Musa, held off his marker before lashing home on the turn.
The Leicester City forward however missed a chance to score a Super Eagles brace for the first time in his career when his penalty kick (after Musa was fouled by Tunisian goalkeeper Ben Mustapha) was saved by the goalkeeper on the half hour mark.
When it looked as though the Super Eagles will take the lead into the break, the North Africans threw dagger into their hearts courtesy of Mohamed Drager who rifled home from close range after a brilliant piece of work by Hamza Rafia.
The second half was literally an eyesore of a contest but Drager had the best effort on target, the right back seeing his chip tipped over by Nigeria’s goalkeeper Maduka Okoye.
Can't remember Cyriel Dessers ever having a kick of the ball. He was made a stranger on the pitch, not only to the ball, but to his teammates as well. #NGATUN— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) October 13, 2020
Rohr gave national team debuts to Belgium-born Cyriel Dessers and Russia based winger Chidera Ejuke in the second half. The former virtually had just a touch of the ball in his 18-minute appearance, failing to punish some sloppy defending by the Tunisians.
The Super Eagles will regroup again next month in Nigeria for their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) double header against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone.
Nigeria XI: Okoye; Akpoguma, Omeruo, Balogun (Awaziem), Sanusi (Collins); Semi Ajayi, Iwobi, Iheanacho; Chukwueze (Ejuke), Ahmed Musa (Dessers), Moses Simon.