Africa Cup of Nations: Nigeria see a 4-0 lead slip as Sierra Leone fight back to draw 4-4

Everton’s Alex Iwobi struck twice for Nigeria against Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone fought back from 4-0 down away to Nigeria to draw 4-4 in their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier after a spectacular comeback in Benin City.

It was one of six qualifying group fixtures on Friday for the finals which will now take place in Cameroon in 2022.

In other matches, Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech struck twice for Morocco as they secured a home victory along with Tunisia, Mali, Niger, and South Africa.

Nigeria 4 Sierra Leone 4

The Super Eagles were coasting towards a third win from three in Group L after racing to a 4-0 lead inside the first half hour of their match at home to Sierra Leone.

Everton forward Alex Iwobi scored twice, with his first goal coming in the fourth minute.

Napoli’s Victor Osimhen found the net after 21 minutes on his return to Nigeria’s team.

Osimhen then set up Iwobi who got his second goal six minutes later and Villareal’s Samuel Chukwueze added a fourth, with another assist from Osimhen.

Sierra Leone began their stunning fightback just before half-time when Kwame Quee grabbed what looked to be a consolation goal.

Alhaji Kamara began to stamp his mark on the match. He added a second for the visitors after 72 minutes to make it 4-2.

Mustapha Bundu then added a third for Sierra Leone to make it 4-3 with 10 minutes remaining.

Nigeria were left stunned as Alhaji Kamara completed an astonishing performance by his team with an equaliser four minutes from time.

Nigeria remain top of their group on seven points – with Sierra Leone third, five points adrift. Second placed Benin play bottom side Lesotho on Saturday.

Morocco 4 Central African Republic 1

Morocco's Hakim Ziyech
Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech scored two goals in Morocco’s win over Central African Republic.

Hakim Ziyech scored twice for Morocco as they beat Central African Republic 4-1 to go back on top of Group E.

Ziyech set up Morocco’s opener for Achraf Hakimi in the 10th minute with CAR’s Louis Mafouta responding with a 25th minute equaliser.

Ziyech then added his name to the scoresheet, putting the Atlas Lions back in control with two quick goals.

He hit a penalty in the 31st minute and got his second – Morocco’s third – just two minutes later.

Debutant Zakaria Aboukhlal scored in the second half to put the result beyond doubt, giving Morocco a comfortable win.

Morocco are two points ahead of Mauritania at the top of the group.

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

Percy Tau converted a 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 a 2-0 victory in Durban.

Penalties also proved decisive in Friday’s other Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Tunisia have nine points from three games in Group J after captain Youssef Msakni’s first half penalty brought them 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 from the spot in the 38th-minute.

Also on Friday, Niger beat Ethiopia 1-0 in Niamey thanks to a second half Youssef Oumarou penalty.

Niger and Ethiopia are both on three points in Group K behind the top two, Ivory Coast and Madagascar, who are both on six points.

Friday’s matches:

  • 16:00 Niger 1-0 Ethiopia (Grp K)
  • 16:00 Nigeria 4-4 Sierra Leone (Grp L)
  • 19:00 Mali 1-0 Namibia (Grp A)
  • 19:00 Morocco 4-1 Central Africa Republic (Grp E)
  • 19:00 South Africa 2-0 Sao Tome and Principe (Grp C)
  • 19:00 Tunisia 1-0 Tanzania (Grp J)

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