Sports News

Sierra Leone stage four-goal comeback to hold Nigeria

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Sierra Leone came from four goals down to hold Nigeria to a 4-4 draw in a dramatic Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Benin City as the preliminaries for the 2022 finals continued on Friday.

Tunisia kept their 100% record in the qualifiers with a 1-0 home victory over Tanzania, while Morocco’s Hakim Ziyech scored twice as they beat Central African Republic 4-1 but South Africa struggled before winning 2-0 at home to Sao Tome e Principe.

Nigeria raced into a 4-0 lead inside the first half-hour as Alex Iwobi scored twice, the first in the fourth minute, and Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze added two more.

But Kwame Quee pulled one back for Sierra Leone four minutes before the break after which the visitors staged a remarkable recovery with Alhaji Kamara scoring twice in between Mustapha Bundu’s effort – all in the final 18 minutes – to draw.

Angry fans demonstrated outside the stadium after the game forcing Nigeria’s team to spend several hours in their changing room before being able to leave.

Nigeria remain top of Group L with seven points from three games while Sierra Leone moved off the bottom on two.

Ziyech’s double, including a penalty, plus goals from Achraf Hakimi and debutant Zakaria Aboukhlal allowed Morocco to enjoy a comfortable win over Central African Republic in Casablanca.

Penalties proved decisive in Friday’s other four qualifiers.

Tunisia have nine points from three games in Group J after captain Youssef Msakni’s first half spot kick saw them to a narrow win over Tanzania in Tunis.

Mali joined Guinea at the top of Group A after their 1-0 home win over Namibia in Bamako, with teenager El Bilal Toure netting a 38th-minute penalty.

South Africa also needed a spot kick to help them avoid embarrassment against Sao Tome, a country with a population of just 200,000 and ranked 182nd in world football.

Percy Tau converted the penalty after 55 minutes in the Group C game, with Bongani Zungu adding a second with a header from a corner in the last minute to ensure victory in Durban.

Earlier on Friday, Niger’s Youssouf Oumarou netted a 74th minute penalty which proved enough to beat Ethiopia 1-0 in Niamey as they picked up their first points in Group K.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ken Ferris