Nigeria will not be represented at the 2020 CAF African Nations Championship (CHAN) which will be held in Egypt following a 4-3 aggregate loss to Togo in the second round of qualifiers (Western Zone B).
After a 4-1 loss away in Lomo in late September, the Super Eagles Team could only manage a 2-0 win at home.
In a game played at the Agege Stadium on Saturday, October 19, Imama Amapakabo’s boys took the early in the eighth minute.
The Super Eagles Team B had started on the front foot from the first minute and got their reward through Lobi Stars’ forward Sikiru Alimi who broke the deadlock.
Alimi could have made it two in the 25th minute but his effort on goal was cleared off the line by a Togolese defender.
Ibrahim Sunusi also went close in the 35th minute but he couldn’t get his shot on target from a good area.
Needing two goals in the second half to seal qualification, the Super Eagles Team B turned on the pressure again at the restarted.
It wasn’t until the 72nd minute that Alimi scored again from just outside the box to double Nigeria’s lead.
The Super Eagles pressed again for another goal but could not get it as Togo held on to get a 4-3 win on aggregate.
This loss means that Nigeria will miss a fourth CHAN tournament. Nigeria have only been to two of the last five CHAN tournaments.
“It’s quite unfortunate that we couldn’t make it to CHAN 2020, though we gave our all in both games. I think we got our tactics right, but we were just unlucky,” Alimi said after the interview.
Saturday’s performance against Togo was better when compared to the dismal outing in Lomé in September.
Amapakabo said his boys played according to his plan but rued the missed chances.
“The players played according to instruction and what we had practised in the last week and I’m glad we were able to keep the Togolese where we wanted them, unfortunately, we had the chances but were unable to convert them to give us qualification,” Imama said after the game.