AFCON QUALIFIERS: Iheanacho’s goals excites super eagles coach


Sensational Kelechi Iheanacho’s burst of goals for Leicester City should be a morale booster for the 24-year-old Super Eagles striker ahead of the forthcoming 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Benin and Lesotho.

This much is the candid shot by the Super Eagles German coach Gernot Rohr after the former U-17 World Cup winner struck his first English Premier League (EPL) hat trick as Leicester City hit Sheffield United 5-0 in the EPL at the Kings Power Stadium on Sunday.

The Super Eagles will be away to Benin Republic on March 27 and will complete their Group L qualifiers on March 30 against Lesotho at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.

“We are very happy that Kelechi scored three goals for Leicester City against Sheffield United,” an elated Rohr told NationSport. “These goals will give him confidence and more games with Leicester.”

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The former Bayern Munich defender said he had long kept his faith with the former Manchester City’s striker even when he was sparingly used by the Foxes a few months back, adding the striker is now experienced enough to cope with the demands and pressure of playing for both club and country.

Incidentally, it was Iheanacho that scored the first goal for Super Eagles under Rohr following his solitary strike in that dead rubber 2016 AFCON qualifier against the Taifa Stars of Tanzania at Uyo International Stadium on September 2, 2016.

Though he missed out of the squad to the 2019 AFCON in Egypt, Iheanacho has scored eight goals for the Super Eagles under Rohr with his last strike coming in the team’s 1-1 draw against Tunisia in an international friendly match played in Austria on October 13, 2020.

“He was in our group last year even when he didn’t play in his club because we believe in his capacity to progress,” noted Rohr. “He is used to pressure now.”

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