Kalu nets superb solo goal as Super Eagles beat Benin

Super Eagles By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 13/11/2019

Samuel Kalu scores a superb solo effort goal as Super Eagles come from behind to beat Benin Republic 2-1 in their Group L opener of 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Nigeria are back in competitive action for the first time since their third-placed finish at the summer tournament in Egypt.

Stephane Sessegnon put Benin ahead after Joel Dossou brilliantly goes past  Bundesliga left-back Jamilu Collins before squaring for former Sunderland and West Brom forward who scores two minutes after kickoff.

Samuel Chukwueze with his first contribution of the game in the 8th minute skips past his marker but his square pass evades everyone inside the box.

Super Eagles gradually working their way into the game, Everton summer signing Alex Iwobi sets up ex-Chelsea defender Ola Aina whose left-footed effort is well saved by Benin goalkeeper Farnolle.

As the first half entered it's final five minutes when Lile striker Victor Osimhen with a brilliant hold-up play before releasing pass to Chukwueze but the Villarreal winger attempt to find the top corner comes off the crossbar and into safety.

Nigeria’s efforts were finally rewarded in the 45th minute when the center referee awarded a penalty to the team after Aina was pulled down in the 18’yard box. 

Nigeria got a penalty when Aina did a one-two with Aribo and found his way inside the box, but the defender was brought down.

Osimhen made no mistake when he stepped up to the spot-kick to give Nigeria the equaliser before the half-time whistle was sounded.

At the resumption of the second half, Nigeria continued to pile more pressure and was later rewarded as Samuel Kalu dribbled pass three goalkeepers before slotting the ball home for Super Eagles’ second goal in the 63rd minute.

Osimhen had the opportunity to double his goal but his shot hit the side of the woodwork to the dismay of the home fans.

However, in the 78th minute, the Squirrels of Benin could have leveled the score but the ball also hit the top of the bar.

All attempts for the visitors to equalize proved abortive as the Super Eagles earned the maximum point.

Super Eagles have three-point they will follow by an away match against Lesotho four days later.