Nigeria’s Super Eagles Saturday evening at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia via the only goal scored by Alex Iwobi, nephew of former skipper, Austin Okocha.
Alex Iwobi’s 73rd minute goal was the magic as the Arsenal forward converted the needed goal.
The three point lead this evening assured Nigeria a place in Russia owing to their three-point lead and superior goals difference. Iwobi’s goal was the needed talisman to confirm the Super Eagles as Africa’s first team to qualify for the World Cup in 2018.
Ogenyi Onazi was substituted due to an injury when the German coach Gernot Rohr had to make a heavy decision in the first half.
The Eagles had earlier defeated the Chipolopolo of Zambia 2-1 away and were determined to get another win against Zambia before teeming fans.
The Zambian goalkeeper made brilliant saves denying the Nigerians of an early lead.
The visitors in Uyo proved the stuff they are made of as they were determined to defeat Nigerians on their home soil. Alex Ng’onga failed to convert a beautiful chance which could have embarrassed the Nigerians and their teeming fans.
The golden moment came for the Nigerians when in the 73rd minute, substitute Alex Iwobi broke the deadlock with a calm finish from close range, firing home Abdullahi Shehu’s low pass.
With the last match becoming a formality for the Super Eagles, the job has been well done as the team can see Russia as clearly as crystal.
In another match, South Africa’s Bafana Bafana defeated their Burkinabe visitors 3 goals to 1 rekindling their hope for a slot of the five from Africa.
Nigeria’s hope seemed to have suffered a setback when the Chipolopolo recorded an away win in Algeria while the Super Eagles were held to a barren draw in Cameroun in September. But with today’s win, the Eagles only have a formality last game.