Nigeria’s quest to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in USA, Canada and Mexico started on a disappointing note Thursday evening as the Super Eagles were held 1-1 by the Crocodiles of Lesotho, reports Prime Business Africa.
The Eagles wasted five clear cut scoring chances in the first half to put the visitors to the sword and it ended scoreless in the first 45 minutes at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo.
Lesotho then shocked the three-time African champions when Motlomelo Mkhwanazi put his nation ahead in the 56th minute with a header off a corner kick.
West Bromwich Albion central defender Semi Ajayi restored parity for the Nigerian side when he nodded home from from yet another corner kick delivered by Kelechi Iheanacho 23 minutes to full time.
Taiwo Awoniyi and Victor Boniface were close to scoring but were denied by the resolute Lesotho defence.
Lesotho goalkeeper Sekhoane Moerane resorted to ‘tactical’ time-wasting antics in the latter stages of the game when the score was at 1-1 with limited time to find a winning goal by the more illustrious Nigerians.
The Eagles will travel out of Nigeria Friday evening and head to Rwanda where they will play against Zimbabwe in their second Group C game of the World Cup qualifiers.
The Eagles who will be playing in the 33rd edition of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivorie 13 January – 11 February 2024 will welcome the Bafana Bafana of South Africa at home and make the short trip to Cotonou to face Benin Republic when the next round of qualifiers are, played in June 2024.
Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.
In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.
He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.
Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.
He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.
Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.
Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.