The immediate past minister of Sports and Youth Development, Honourable Sunday Dare has congratulated the Super Eagles of Nigeria for their qualification for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations finals, to be hosted by Côte d’Ivoire, early next year.
The Eagles secured the ticket with a hard fought 3-2 victory against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone, who hosted the penultimate tie in the qualifiers, in Monrovia, capital of Liberia.
Red hot Napoli of Italy striker, Victor Osimhen netted a first half brace to put Nigeria two goals up, but a goal in either half by the Leone Stars, pegged back the Super Eagles, before Kelechi Ihianacho scored deep in stoppage time, to seal the win for Nigeria, who regained top spot of Group A from Guinea Bissau, who are now second with 10 points, but have also qualified for the Afcon finals.
Honourable Dare who followed the entire match anxiously, described it as a tough match, on a plastic pitch that made it a bit difficult for players of both sides, who are used to better turfs.
“But at the end of the day we won, which is very vital, the most important thing is that, the boys have qualified for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Côte d’Ivoire, with a game to spare. I say a very big congratulations to the players, coaching crew and supporters of the national team, across the country”, Hon. Dare told www.ckdmedia.ng.
The outgone sports minister, said he was even more fascinated by the comportment of the players, after Sierra Leone fought back to make it 2-2. According to him, that was the hallmark of a good teams, and scoring at the death to win it confirms that Nigeria’s status as three-time African champions, is no fluke.
Also on Sunday, the Blue Sharks of Cape Varde and Eagles of Mali punched their tickets to the flagship tournament, with resounding victories.
On Saturday, 2012 champions Zambia and Equatorial Guinea joined Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Tunisia and Egypt, in booking their places for the 34th edition of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, to be staged in Côte d’Ivoire. OYO NEWS