Onauchu’s late-winner ends Benin Republic’s unbeaten record
Paul Onuachu’s late goal helped Nigeria beat Benin Republic 1-0 and end the country’s unbeaten home run since 2013. It was an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier played on Saturday at the Stade Charles de Gaulle in Porto Novo.
The Eagles had edged the Squirrels 2-1 when both teams met in Uyo 16 months ago.
Today’s defeat dealt a blow to the Squirrels’ qualification hopes as they now need to avoid defeat against third-placed Sierra Leone when they face each other on Tuesday in Freetown.
Incidentally before the kick off, the Super Eagles confirmed their qualification for next year’s tournament in Cameroon after Sierra Leone played a 0-0 draw with Lesotho.
The last time Benin conceded a home defeat was in a World Cup qualifying match against Algeria in 2013
Nigeria had to wait till the stoppage-time to beat Dijon’s Beninoise goalkeeper Saturnin Allagbe through Onauchu’s header. It was the Genk attacker’s his second goal for the Super Eagles since he made his debut goal against Egypt two years ago.
Onuachu, on the field for 20 minutes after replacing Iheanacho, was gifted a good opportunity to score as the ball rose high in the box following Victor Osimhen’s attempt from a Samuel Chukwueze’s corner kick.
Enyimba’s Anayo Iwuala came on for his Eagles debut as a substitute for Onyekuru in the second half.
The Eagles returned to their Golden Tulip Hotel in Cotonou after the match and will be back in Lagos on Sunday to begin preparation for Tuesday’s final-round game against Lesotho at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.