The Super Eagles of Nigeria blew a four-goal lead to settle for a disappointing 4-4 draw in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match on Friday at the new Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, Edo State.
Four goals in the opening half-hour of Friday’s tie initially gave many the belief that the Eagles may be securing a record win against their West African neighbours.
However, that was not the case as the Leone Stars fought their way to deservedly secure a 4-4 draw against the three-time African champions.
It was Alex Iwobi that opened the flood gates of goals in the 4th minute before Victor Osimhen doubled the lead.
The Everton midfielder made it 3-0 in the 27th minute and then Samuel Chukwueze increase the tally three minutes afterward.
When Kwame Quee reduced the deficit to 4-1 late in the first half, many saw it just as a face-saving goal but it turned out to be crucial as it gave the visitors the push for a revival in the second half.
In the second half, substitutes Al-Hadji Kamara and Mustapha Bundu turned the tables as the duo combined to get the three goals that saw the Leone Stars force a 4-4 draw.
While the draw by Nigeria was bad in itself, a nasty injury by Osimhen makes it even worse for the Super Eagles.
Despite the loss, the Eagles are still top in Group L with seven points from three games while the Leone Stars are now third on the group with two points.
Gernot Rohr’s men have a chance to redeem themselves in Tuesday’s second leg tie in Freetown while the Leone Stars are also motivated to go for the kill against the star-studded Nigerian team in their home pitch.