The 15,400-capacity Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba will host next month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone, the Nigeria Football Federation has announced.
“We have finally settled for the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba for the qualifying match against Sierra Leone. The match will be played on Friday 27th March 2020,” NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, stated.
The venue, named after former Nigeria captain and coach, the late Stephen Keshi, has hosted several international matches involving the Super Eagles and the Nigeria U-23 squad, since it was opened two years ago.
Uganda were the first opposition entertained at the venue by the Eagles in a friendly match days after Nigeria sealed a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations ticket in November 2018. The match ended goalless.
The Eagles have since beaten Seychelles 3-1 (2019 AFCON qualifier) and piped seven-time African champions Egypt 1-0 (a friendly) at the same venue, as well as a 0-0 stalemate with Zimbabwe in a pre- 2019 AFCON friendly in June last year.
The U-23 team turned back Libya and Sudan in 2019 U-23 AFCON qualifying matches at the same venue.
With the Nigeria Football Federation having picked March 27 for the first match, the Sierra Leone Football Association is now most likely to opt for Tuesday 31st March (the final day in the FIFA window) for the return leg scheduled for the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown.
Victory in next month’s match-day 3 fixture against the Leone Stars will take the Super Eagles closer to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals, as they currently perch at the top of their pool with the maximum six points from their first two matches and a goals difference of plus three. A 2-1 win over Benin Republic in Uyo last November was followed by a 4-2 whiplash of Lesotho in Maseru.
The Super Eagles have further dates against the Squirrels of Benin Republic in Cotonou (in June) and the Crocodiles of Lesotho in Nigeria (in September).