Kelechi Iheanacho Nigeria 2018

Iheanacho ends three-year Nigeria drought against Tunisia

Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho has ended his three-year wait for a first Nigeria goal in Tuesday’s international friendly against Tunisia.

The forward who was handed a starter’s role against the Carthage Eagles put Gernot Rohr’s men ahead with just 21 minutes in to play.

Iheanacho profited from a pass from Ahmed Musa thanks to a throw-in from Zaidu Sanusi, and he made a nice turn before firing past goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha.

Article continues below

That strike was the striker’s first goal for the three-time African champions since November 14, 2017. That effort came in the 4-2 defeat of Argentina in an international friendly in preparation for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia at the Krasnodar Stadium.

Few minutes later, he missed a chance to double his lead for the West Africans after Mustapha saved his penalty kick. The 31-year-old shot-stopper had fouled a goal-bound Musa who was played in by Everton star Alex Iwobi.

Despite dominating ball possession, a momentary loss of concentration saw the North Africans level matters a minute before the half-time break through Mohamed Drager. The Olympiacos defender fired past goalkeeper Maduka Okoye from close range.

Iheanacho’s goal was his ninth for the senior national team since making his bow as a substitute in a 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifying match against Swaziland.

Owing to a string of unimpressive performances, the former Manchester City man was axed from Rohr’s squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations staged in Egypt.