By Gideon Adonai
Nigeria’s Super Eagles escaped defeat to Sierra Leone on Thursday after Jonathan Morsay opened the scoresheet for the Leone Stars to put them ahead in the 11th minute.
The Super Eagles trailed their opponents for six minutes before Alex Iwobi leveled them with an assist from Moses Simon in the 16th minute.
Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen was able to prove his worth to help deliver a win for his side after five winless streaks.
Meanwhile, in the other game of the group, Zinho Gano scored twice on his competitive debut to ensure Guinea-Bissau rallied from behind to beat Sao Tome and Principe 5-1 to open his account during the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Thursday.
Guinea-Bissau coach Baciro Cande decided to give new players a chance in his squad as he made his competitive debut with teenagers Mamadi Camara, Dalcio Gomes and Zinho Gano from Portugal.
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After knocking out Maurice in the preliminary round of the qualifiers, Sao Tome entered the match with some confidence. And they are the ones who struck first to open the scoring.
Edmilson Viegas found the back of the net to put the visitors ahead in the 21st minute. But the goal was canceled out five minutes later by Alfa Semedo, with young Camara the creator.
Experienced striker Piqueti Djassi was the two-time provider for Gano who scored twice in 8 minutes to put Djurtus ahead with goals in the 50th and 58th minute respectively.
Substitute Zidane Banjaqui increased the scoring in the 81st minute before Jorginho Intima eventually sealed the win for Djurtus moments later at the Stade de Marrakech in Morocco.
Guinea-Bissau will top the group standings with a goal advantage with Nigeria in second place after first-round encounters.
Sierra Leone will host Guinea Bissau at the General Lansana Conte Stadium in Conakry while Nigeria travel to Sao Tome in the second round of matches next Monday.