Super Eagles bid to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon received another massive boost with 3-2 defeat of Mediterranean Knights of Libya in Sfax, Tunisia, yesterday.
The victory catapulted the three times African champions to top position in Group E following South Africa scoreless draw with Seychelles in the second match of the Group. The third successive win after a disappointing start against South Africa, means Coach Gernot Rohr-led squad are now closer to the 2019 AFCON finals in Cameroon. The third straight qualification victory – and the second on the road, takes Super Eagles’ points tally to nine, and one-point gap ahead of the second-place South Africa.
South Africa’s goalless draw against Seychelles at the Stade Linite in Victoria, Seychelles, had opened up the chance for the Super Eagles to move into a commanding position in the log and Ighalo’s clinical showing helped the West Africans’ hold off a much improved Meditteranean Knights side, which lost the first leg in Uyo 4-0. The Pirates of Seychelles were looking to avenge the 6-0 defeat to South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in an encounter which was played in Johannesburg over the weekend. Bafana were the better side in the opening stages of the game and they came close to scoring nine minutes into the game.
Lebohang Maboe’s goal-bound effort was blocked inside the Seychelles box with goalkeeper Jerome Dingwall well-beaten. Dingwall was then called into action by Percy Tau, whose cross was pushed away by the shot-stopper in the 25th minute. South Africa’s China-based centre forward Dino Ndlovu was working hard upfront as he looked to put his side into the lead. Ndlovu’s shot from the edge of the Pirates box was deflected out for a corner-kick just after the half-hour mark. The Seychelles’ defence looked organised and impenetrable most of the time in the first half.