Benin 2 Nigeria 1: Onyedika's goal in vain as Cheetahs register first-ever win against Super Eagles 

Published: June 10, 2024
Benin 2 Nigeria 1: Onyedika's goal in vain as Cheetahs register first-ever win against Super Eagles 

Republic of Benin's Cheetahs registered their first-ever win against Nigeria in their fifteenth attempt, beating the Super Eagles 2-1 in a  2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier played at Stade Felix Houphouet on Monday evening.

Coach Finidi George made three changes to the team that started against South Africa with Raphael Onyedika replacing Fisayo Dele-Bashiru in midfield while Samuel Chukwueze and Terem Moffi came in for Kelechi Iheanacho and Paul Onuachu respectively.

Bright Osayi-Samuel came close to finding the opener in the 11th minute after combining with Ademola Lookman but his curled effort sailed narrowly past goal.

In the 27th minute, Nigeria took the lead when Chukwueze set up Onyedika inside the penalty area, who quickly sort out his feet before firing a ferocious shot beyond the goalkeeper.

Jodel Doussou drew level for the home side in the 37th, slotting the ball beyond the reach of Stanley Nwabali after Calvin Bassey had shockingly misjudged the long kick from the Benin goalkeeper.

A minute before halftime, Lookman beautifully nutmegged his marker and squared towards the Terem Moffi but the pass was too heavy for the Nice forward.

Benin took the lead in the stoppage time through Steve Mounie who took advantage of the failure of Onyedika and Wilfred Ndidi to clear the lines to poke the ball home.

Six minutes before the hour mark, the Super Eagles nearly got the equalizer when Chukwueze delivered a precise cross for Lookman but the latter's header drifted wide.

Four minutes before stoppage time, Paul Onuachu got a chance to find the net but his header couldn't be directed towards goal and the lanky striker got another in the stoppage time but failed yet again.

The result leaves Nigeria with just three points after four games and now have a mountain to climb if they are to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Abdulkareem Abdulhamid

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