Nigeria defeated Sierra Leone 2-1 in the first fixture of their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series on Thursday evening.

The Super Eagles returned to the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja for the first time, since the disastrous 1-1 draw with Ghana in March, which saw the three-time African champions miss out on the 2022 World Cup.

However, the game was played without fans, following FIFA’s ban for crowd trouble.

Jonathan Morsay opened scoring for the visitors, before Nigeria replied with goals from Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen.

The two nations were at the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon earlier this year, and today they begin the race to make the next edition in Ivory Coast.

Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe are the other three teams in the group. Nigeria and Sierra Leone both have one more match after tonight’s clash, before qualifying pauses until September.

It’s Jose Peseiro’s first competitive match in charge of the Super Eagles.