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Flying start to AFCON 2021 race as Osimhen, Kalu fire Super Eagles past Benin

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria secured a sensational victory against Benin Republic in the opening qualifying match of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Nigeria came from behind to beat their West African neighbours 2-1 at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Wednesday evening.

It is the first time since the qualifying series of the 2013 edition of the AFCON that Nigeria has started their qualifying campaign with a win.

Gernot Rohr’s men suffered an early blow after some sloppy defending allowed Stephane Sessegnon to slot past goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi and put the visitors ahead on three minutes.

Read Also: NEW CONTRACT: Rohr not distracted, to hold talks with NFF by year-end

Nigeria forwards Samuel Chukwueze and Alex Iwobi tortured the Benin defence afterward, with the former almost getting the equaliser when his shot hit the frame.

The hosts finally levelled things up just before the break when Victor Osimhen converted from the penalty spot, following a bringing down of Aina in the area by Nabil Yarou.

Samuel Kalu scored the winner in the 63rd minute after he took on the opposition defence in breathtaking style before bending a low shot into the net.

The Eagles top the group as in the other game of Group L of the qualifying series, Sierra Leone played a 1-1 draw with Lesotho.

Up next for Nigeria is the continuation of their campaign with an encounter against Lesotho at Setsoto Stadium in Maseru on Sunday.

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