Three-time African champions, the Super Eagles began their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers on a winning note as they edged the Lone Stars of Liberia 2-0 in the Group C match played yesterday at the Teslim Balogun stadium in Lagos.
Although faced with a water-logged pitch, the Super Eagles showed intent to grab the maximum points as they emerged the stronger of the two sides in the opening minutes of the encounter.
- Secondus denies working against southern interest
- NHIS enrolls lawyers into GIFSHIP health insurance programme
Super Eagles’ first sight on goal came in the opening 20 minutes when Joe Ayodele-Aribo had the opportunity to break the deadlock but his tame shot went wide.
However, in the 23rd minute, Kelechi Iheanacho benefitted from Alex Iwobi’s corner kick to fire past goalkeeper Ashley Williams for the Super Eagles opening goal.
And after the clumsy tackle which earned Allen Njie a yellow card, Iheanacho picked himself up to increase the Super Eagles tally in the 45th minute after Alex Iwobi flicked on Jamilu Collins throw-in for him to hit his brace.
The first half ended 2-0. And on resumption, a golden opportunity fell to Iheanacho for a hat-trick but he headed wide from close range.
Everton of England’s Alex Iwobi also had a chance to increase Super Eagles tally when he put through on goal by Wilfred Ndidi but he failed to convert.
As the Super Eagles search for more goals continued, Gernot Rohr made his first double sub of the match as he introduced burly Paul Ohanechu for Napoli man, Victor Osimhen and Samuel Kalu for Simon Moses to add pressure on the Liberians.
The introduction of the duo brought urgency upfront for the Super Eagles. Towards the end of the match, there was another double substitution as captain Ahmed Musa came on for Kelechi Iheancho while Shehu Abdullahi took over from Alex Iwobi
And at the stroke of full time, Aribo made way for Watford midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo who saw out the remaining seconds of the match which ended 2-0 in favour of the Super Eagles.
The Super Eagles will next play the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde on September 7.