By Alexander Adejoh
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has announced that next month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone will be hosted in the 15,400 capacity Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, Delta State.
Fides gathered that Dr Mohammed Sanusi, NFF General Secretary, said the match will be played on Friday, 27th March 2020 and they have finally settled for the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba for the qualifying match against Sierra Leone.
The venue, named after former Nigeria captain and coach Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, has hosted several international matches involving the Super Eagles and the Nigeria U23 squad, since it was opened two years ago.
Uganda was the first opposition entertained at the venue by the Super Eagles in a friendly match days after Nigeria sealed a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations ticket in South Africa in November 2018. The match ended scoreless.
The Eagles have since beaten Seychelles 3-1 in the 2019 AFCON qualifier and trashed seven time African champions Egypt 1-0 in a friendly match at the same venue, as well as playing a scoreless draw with Zimbabwe in a pre-2019 AFCON friendly in June last year.
With the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) picking March 27 for the first match, the Sierra Leone Football Association is now most likely to choose Tuesday, 31st March for the return leg scheduled for the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown.
Victory in next month’s Match-Day 3 fixture against the Leone Stars will take the Super Eagles closer to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals, as they currently perch at the top of their pool with the maximum six points from their first two matches and a goals difference of plus three. A 2-1 win over Benin Republic in Uyo on 13th November was followed by a 4-2 whiplash of Lesotho in Maseru four days later.