Nigeria v Lesotho: My Crocodiles didn't respect the Super Eagles — Leslie Notsi

Leslie Notsi said his team can to Nigeria to enjoy themselves. (Photo Credit: Modo/X and Pulse Sports collage)

Nigeria v Lesotho: My Crocodiles didn't respect the Super Eagles — Leslie Notsi

Izuchukwu Akawor 10:05 - 17.11.2023

Lesotho manager Leslie Notsi has reacted to his side's shock performance against Nigeria Super Eagles in the FIFA WCQ.

Lesotho manager Leslie Notsi has reacted to his team’s stunning performance against African giants Nigeria Super Eagles. 

Leslie’s Lesotho held the Super Eagles to a shocking 1-1 draw in the first game of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier, WCQ, on Thursday evening. 

Nigeria vs Lesotho

A star-studded Super Eagles team led by Bayer Leverkusen hitman, Victor Boniface, were expected to overrun their visitors on the day.

The atmosphere in the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom, was filled with excitement as fans expected their Eagles to seal victory.

The Super Eagles World Cup qualification opener was a 1-1 draw against the Crocodiles of Lesotho at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom. Photo Credit - X/Pooja
A shaky start for Nigeria Super Eagles against Lesotho

However, despite the Nigeria Super Eagles having most of the possession, it ended in disappointment as the team struggled to subdue the stubborn Crocodiles.

Nigeria dominated the first half, created the most and better chances but were unable to make them count with Taiwo Awoniyi, who missed a sitter, Ademola Lookman and Kelechi Iheanacho all coming close.

Victor Boniface was caged against Lesotho. (Photo Credit: Modo Victor/X)

The second half saw Lesotho display remarkable teamwork and resilience as they managed to breach the Super Eagles' defence in the 56th minute. The goal came from a corner as Lesotho sent shockwaves through the stadium, leaving the Eagles and their fans stunned. 

However, the Super Eagles regrouped and would not accept defeat easily. Fueled by the renewed sense of urgency, inspired by substitute Moses Simon, Nigeria found the leveller via Semi Ajayi’s towering header from an Iheanacho corner to salvage a draw. 

No respect for Nigeria

After the enthralling encounter, Lesotho's manager was a happy man and spoke to the Nigerian media.

According to a video posted on by seasoned photojournalist OgaNla Media, Notsi said his Crocodiles had no respect for Nigeria and came to express themselves. 

Lesotho manager. Leslie Nosti. (Photo Credit: Screenshot from the video)

“We did not give them (Super Eagles) respect,” Notsi began in the video. 

“We said they are the same human beings like us, let’s go there for enjoyment - the enjoyment we talked about was not just to go there and waste time but the self-belief has to be there and express themselves in the areas that we are good at.”

Notsi added that his Crocodiles followed instructions and have learnt lessons. 

“We followed the teamwork, the video clips and saw areas where we can capitalise or utilise when we have chances of coming up with something,” he added. “We have learnt a lot.”

Bright Osayi-Samuel during the Nigeria vs Lesotho World Cup qualifier || Credit: Imago

As the final whistle blew, Leslie Notsi and his Crocodiles left the pitch with heads held high. While the Super Eagles dominated on the ball, Lesotho earned respect for their organisation which earned them a share of the spoils. 

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