As Nigeria, Tunisia draw 1-1
A tamely taken penalty that did not troubled Goalkeeper Mustapha Farouk higlighted another average performance that saw Africa’s second best team, Tunisia escaping with a one-all draw in Tuesday’s night international friendly against Nigeria’s Super Eagles.
Eagles’ lone goal scorer and Leicester City forward, Kelechi Iheanacho had stepped out to take the penalty after Skipper Ahmed Musa was brought down in the 18 yard box, but his poor kick was saved by Mustapha who guessed right.
Following last Friday’s 1-0 loss to Algeria, expectations were high on the Coach Gernot Rohr men grinding out a positive result against the Tunisian Cartage Eagles in their second friendly game of the FIFA’s October international window.
With Coach Rohr making five changes to the starting line that lost 1-0 to Dessert Warriors of Algeria in Austria, Iheanacho puts Nigeria ahead on 21st minute, assisted by the team’s Captain Musa through a well taken shot from inside the area.
However, the Tunisians, who also made four changes in the squad that flogged Sudan 3-0 on Friday, were undaunted and the penalty save Keeper Mustapha, who bagged a yellow card in the process, gave them the needed impetus searching for the equaliser.
And that happy moment came for the North Africans on the stroke of the half time as Mohamed Dräger got the equalizer recording his first international goal for the country. Drager scored from close range following a poor ball clearance by Nigerian defenders in the 44th minute of play.
Genk FC of Belgium forward, Cyriel Dessers and CSKA Moscow of Russia striker, Chidera Ejuke were handed their international debuts in the encounter as the Tunisians’ efforts to score a second goal were thwarted by Nigeria’s keeper Maduka Okoye.
After Iheanacho’s header in the second half missed the target by whiskers, several moves by the Eagles to increase their tally were also frustrated by the Tunisian defence ably coordinated by their goalkeeper.
In their last meeting during the third third place match at the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Egypt, former internatonal Odion Igalo scored to give the Super Eagles a lone goal victory over Tunisia as well as the Championship bronze medal
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had organised both friendlies as warm up matches for next year’s 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, with the Super Eagles involved in a double header against Sierra Leone in November.