Nigeria’s Super Eagles are all but through to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations after they were held to a barren stalemate by Sierra Leone at an atrocious Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown on Tuesday.
The result lifts Nigeria to eight points in Group L, five more than third-placed Sierra Leone and one more than second placed Benin Republic who also played out a goalless draw at bottom side Lesotho in the group’s other game.
A win against either Benin or Lesotho on their final two matches will guarantee Nigeria a place in Cameroon.
Nigeria came into the game knowing a win would seal a place at the AFCON with two games left and following the humiliation of giving up a four goal lead in the first leg in Benin, the Eagles also had the added motivation of securing a win as a matter of pride.
But neither of the sides who scored eight between them four days ago mustered any chances of note in a drab game bereft of any excitement.
The playing surface, akin to a potato field, provided a challenge with Nigeria struggling to string passes together with the main thing of note in a drab first half being a game ending injury to Oghenekaro Etebo.
The second half offered little improvement although Kelechi Iheanacho had an appeal for a penalty waved away after he was clobbered by the hosts’ goalkeeper and in the end, both sides settled for a second straight draw.
Gernot Rohr failed to get the win to ease pressure on his position but Nigeria live to fight again and can secure qualification when they visit Benin on Matchday five in March 2021 or in their final game at home to Lesotho.