Super Eagles and Corsica play 1-1 draw with Corsica national team in Ajaccio

NIGERIA'S Super Eagles played a 1-1 draw with the Corsica national team in Ajaccio last night after Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho equalised from the penalty spot in the 80th minute of the game.

In the match which took place at the Stade Francois Coty, Jean-Jacques Mandrichi put the Corsicans in front in the half before Iheanacho levelled matters late in the game from the spot. Nigeria's head coach Gernot Rohr, handed new recruits Tyronne Ebuehi, Henry Onyekuru and Ibrahim Alhassan starting places in a new-look team.

Corsica's line-up included players from different divisions of the French league, such as Julian Palmieri of Lille, Louis Poggi of Ajaccio, Yannick Cahuza of SC Bastia, Mandrichi of Cannes, Jean-Francois Grimaldi and France Massoni, both of CA Bastia. Only their goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau and midfielder Gary Coulibaly, currently play outside of France.

Within 10 minutes a penalty was awarded against Nigerians after Ado Den Haag defender Ebuehi was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box by the referee. Mandrichi made no mistake in dispatching the spot kick past Nigeria goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa.

KAS Eupen striker Onyekuru should have levelled matters immediately after he was picked out by an Ahmed Musa's pass. However, he simply could not apply the needed finish with only the Corsica goalkeeper Penneteau to beat.

Nigeria then went on to dominate the encounter for long spells in the first half, with Musa and Alhassan missing good scoring chances. Later, Rohr gave another newly invited player and Nigeria Professional Football League top scorer Stephen Odey the chance to feature, bringing him on for Alhassan.

Odey nearly proved to be an inspired substitution on the hour mark but Penneteau's strong hands kept out his attempt. Sikiru Olatunbosun, Odey's teammate, also joined the fray with Musa making way for him and he made his presence felt by combining with Oghenekaro Etebo to set up Iheanacho, whose effort was saved by the Corsica goalkeeper.

Penneteau, however, could not deny Nigeria an 80th-minute equaliser from the spot courtesy of Iheanacho, after Etebo was upended in the penalty area. Nigeria will next face Togo in an international friendly in Paris on 1 June, as the team continues its preparations for a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa.