- Benin vs Nigeria ended 1-0 after Paul Onuachu headed home in stoppage-time
- Nigeria have qualified for AFCON 2021 leaving Benin and Sierra Leone to battle for the second group ticket
- Nigeria face Lesotho in their final qualifying game at Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos
The Super Eagles of Nigeria have qualified for the AFCON 2021 showpiece in Cameroon after a 1-0 win over the Squirrels of Benin on March 27.
Paul Onuachu headed home a rebound after a goal-mouth scramble following a corner kick in stoppage time as Nigeria leave the country with maximum points.
Gernot Rohr's confirmed qualification for the continental showpiece after Lesotho and Sierra Leone played goalless draw earlier in the day.
The victory in Porto-Novo means Benin must get result on Tuesday when they travel to Freetown to face Sierra Leone.
It was the 14th meeting between Nigeria and Benin at international level, with the Super Eagles winning 11, while two of their previous encounters had ended in a draw.
Desperate for positive result, Benin Republic began the game making their intention known as early as the 2nd minute, but Jordan Adeoti headed a cross wide.
They had a great opportunity again in the 22nd minute after unmarked Steve Mounie at the edge of the box finished poorly.
And three minutes later, a lovely flick from Kelechi Iheanacho unto the path of Victor Osimhen was fired wide by the Napoli man.
Nigeria's best chance in the first stanza came on the stroke of half-time when goalkeeper Allagbe made himself big to deny Henry Onyekuru from point blank.
In the 62nd minute the ball found its way to Steve Mounie who nodded an effort towards goal, but Nigerian goalkeeper Maduka Okoye rushed to gather the ball.
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A lightning break from Nigeria as they raced forward again from a Benin Republic attack, and it ended with the ball being dunked to the area by Sanusi. Benin Republic cleared!
And as it looked like the game was heading for a draw, Paul Onuachu headed the ball home brilliantly after a bubble in the box, and that was how it ended; Benin Republic 0-1 Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that Super Eagles winger Alex Iwobi has tested positive for coronavirus.
Iwobi, who was expected to be named in the starting line-up against Benin will also miss next Tuesday’s home clash against the Crocodiles of Lesotho.
Babajide Orevba is a digital publishing expert, an avid sports content thinker, researcher and writer. He is a graduate of Guidance and Counselling, having bagged his B.SC (ED) from the Ekiti State University. He can be reached on Twitter @JideOrevba