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AFCON qualifiers: Super Eagles to face Sierra Leone in Asaba







The Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba will host Super Eagles’ 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying match against Leone Stars of Sierra Leone.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) confirmed the 15,400 capacity stadium as the venue of Eagles next AFCON match in a statement on Sunday.

“We have finally settled for the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba for the qualifying match against Sierra Leone,” Mohammed Sanusi, NFF’s general secretary, said.

“The match will be played on Friday, March 27, 2020.

“The venue, named after the former Nigerian captain and coach Stephen Okechukwu Keshi (of blessed memory), has hosted several international matches involving the Super Eagles and the Nigeria U23 squad, since it was opened two years ago.”

Uganda was the first opposition entertained at the venue by the Super Eagles — in a friendly match — days after Nigeria sealed its 2019 AFCON ticket in South Africa in November 2018.

The Eagles have since lashed Seychelles 3-1 (2019 AFCON qualifier) and pipped Egypt, seven–time African champions, 1-0 in a friendly at the same venue, as well as a scoreless draw with Zimbabwe in a friendly game in June 2019.

With the match slated for March 27, the Sierra Leone Football Association is now most likely to opt for Tuesday, March 31 (the final day in the FIFA window) for the return leg scheduled for the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown.

Victory will take the Super Eagles closer to the 2021 AFCON tournament, as they currently top their group, securing the maximum six points from their first two matches and a goals difference of plus three.

The Nigerian senior team recorded a 2-1 win over Benin Republic in Uyo on November 13. The win was followed by a 4-2 whiplash of Lesotho in Maseru four days later.

The Super Eagles have further dates against the Squirrels of Benin Republic in Cotonou (in June) and the Crocodiles of Lesotho in Nigeria (in September).

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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