Victor Osimhen put his side two goals up inside the first 32 minutes before Mustafa Bundu and Augustus Kargbo scored in the 41st and 84th minutes to level the score. At this point, qualification for next year’s tournament was already assured, but the Super Eagles were eager to get a victory, while Sierra Leone were desperate to keep their qualification hopes alive.
Nigeria got the last laugh, though, as Kelechi Iheanacho scored the winner after good work from Zaidu Sanusi in the 95th minute of proceedings.
When the qualification groups for AFCON 2023 were drawn, most onlookers saw Group A as a walkover for the Super Eagles, but the truth of the matter is that they have not looked convincing. Under Jose Peseiro, the Super Eagles have not looked very convincing in most of the matches he has overseen and this will come as a sign of worry for supporters going into a massive tournament.
Peseiro tight lipped about future
The Super Eagles manager’s contract is set to expire soon and may not be the manager of the national team come the AfFCON 2023 which begins next year. Ahead of the game against Sierra Leone, his future with the team was questioned, but his reply was not noteworthy.
Jose Peseiro's contract expires in few days…
Has he done enough to get a renewal? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/0Nq0zc18Zh
— Soar Super Eagles (@SSE_NGA) June 19, 2023
“My future with the Super Eagles is to train today, tomorrow and prepare for the Sierra Leone game, beat them and qualify for AFCON,” he said.
Should Peseiro’s services be retained?
Different fans have different opinions on what the future of this Super Eagles team should be. The makeup of the squad and the players who should be in it have been a major talking point as well as who should be leading the team.
Peseiro’s record for the Super Eagles is only a small sample size as he has only managed five games, but the matches he has overseen are enough for onlookers to form an opinion on the Portuguese manager.
In the nine games he has managed, Nigeria have won four and lost five with 18 goals scored and 12 goals allowed. 10 of the 18 goals The Super Eagles have scored came in the phenomenal victory over Sao Tome and Principe during the AFCON 2023 qualifiers.
The team does not have a great defensive record as they have only kept two clean sheets in the nine games they have played under Peseiro and apart from the drubbing Sao Tome, they have not looked very sharp in attack either.
Another sticking point is the lack of identity under Jose Peseiro. This team has a talented group of players that is the envy of other African nations, but they can’t seem to put it all together. The team have not been able to form an identity for themselves which fans can recognize and the lack of cohesion shows on the pitch.
Nigeria were favorites in all the matches they have played in during these qualifiers but they have not had enough spells of convincing play throughout. A lot of the games have been tight and control has been lacking on the side of the Super Eagles. The individual quality of the side has done a lot of heavy lifting in games but that may not be enough to win at AFCON 2023.
It is probably not advisable to change managers when a big tournament is fast approaching, but the Nigeria Football Federation may be best served to do so, as the current manager has not gotten the best out of a very talented team
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 months ago