CHAN 2018 qualifiers: Benin shocks Eagles in Cotonou
Nigeria home based Eagles yesterday suffered a 0-1 loss away to Benin Republic in the first leg of their 2018 CHAN qualifiers tie via a late penalty in Cotonou.
The West Zone B first-leg encounter was played at the Stade de l’Amitié in the capital city of Benin, Cotonou.
The Squirrels and the Super Eagles tried to settle down to dictate pace of the game in the first 15 minutes of the encounter.
Orji Kalu Okogbue, the Nigeria defender, was the first player to be booked in the 20th minute as the visitors fought for possession.
Then Yarou Nabil had a chance to put Benin into the lead four minutes later, but his header went wide from close range.
It was end-to-end play as Kingsley Eduwo went close for Nigeria two minutes later, but he was denied by Benin goalkeeper Steve Glodjinon.
However, the two sides were unable to break the deadlock and the score was 0-0 at the half-time break.
Fifteen minutes into the second-half Nigeria coach Salisu Yusuf introduced Stephen Odey for fellow striker Thomas Zenke.
Nigerian striker Edumo’s well-taken strike was deflected out for a corner-kick in the 66th minute following some good work by Osas Okoro.
The Squirrels were then awarded a late penalty when Hafiz Aremu brought down a Beninoise player in the Super Eagles box.
Mama Seibou then stepped up and hit the back of the net in the 89th minute, and Benin ran out 1-0 winners.
Benin Republic will take on the CHAN Eagles in the return leg fixture on the 19th at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano State, Nigeria.