Shehu Abdullahi – Super Eagles ace

Depleted Nigeria’s Super Eagles fought back from a goal down Friday to force hosts Corsica to a 1-1 draw in a friendly staged inside the Stade Francois Coty in Ajaccio.

Nigeria, who suffered several withdrawals by their top stars, dominated this friendly, created the better chances, but poor finishing ensured they went into the dressing room a goal behind.

Eagles coach Gernot Rohr gave eight players their full international debut on the night.

They will face Togo in another test game on Thursday in Paris.

The hosts, lining up several French Ligue 1 stars, stunned the Eagles as early as the second minute, when debutant Tryonne Ebuehi handled the ball inside his box and Mandrichi put the spot kick beyond goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa.

However, Kelechi Iheanacho drew Nigeria level on 80 minutes, when he also scored from the penalty spot after Oghenekaro Etebo was fouled inside the goal area.

Debutants Henry Onyekuru and Alhassan Ibrahim ‘Muazzam’ had clear openings to draw Nigeria level in the first 45 minutes, but failed to do so.

In the 12th minute, Onyekuru was put through on goal by Ahmed Musa, but could not shoot home when one-on-one with the Corsica goalkeeper Penneteau.

‘Muazzam’ then failed to direct his header at goal from close range on 24 minutes, before Ahmed Musa failed to make hay off Muazzam’s rebound in the 35th minute.

In the second half, Stephen Odey, Sikiru Olatunbosun, Uche Agbo and Shehu Abdullahi were introduced to the fray.

NPFL hotshot with 14 goals, Odey forced the Corsica goalkeeper to make a big save on the hour and five minutes later,  Ihenacho was denied by the experienced shot stopper.

The Eagles continued to control proceedings until Iheanacho saved Nigeria’s blushes with a late but deserved leveler.

Nigeria vs Corsica (4-3-2-1) : Ikechukwu Ezenwa –  Tyronne Ebuehi (Shehu Abdullahi 68), William Troost-Ekong, Chiedozie Awaziem, Elderson – Mikel Agu (Uche Agbo 82), Oghenekaro Etebo, Alhassan Ibrahim ‘Muazzam’ (Stephen Odey 58) – Ahmed Musa (Sikiru Olatubonsun 62), Henry Onyekuru – Kelechi Iheanacho


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