Nigeria wins WCQ game against Zambia

Nigeria wins WCQ game against Zambia
October 09 17:36 2016

Nigeria’s Super Eagles recorded an impressive away win against the Chipolopolo of  Zambia to get their 2018 Fifa World Cup qualification off to a good start.

Arsenal and Manchester City youngsters, Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho, respectively scored two first half goals while Collins Mbesuma got Zambia’s goal as the Eagles won 2-1.

Gernot Rohr opted for changes from the team that defeated Tanzania last month in Nigeria in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi and Moses Simon, who was feared as a doubt as at last month, started while Musa Mohammed and Ahmed Musa were left out of the starting line-up.

Zambia head coach, Wedson Nyirenda, picked Tembo Fwayo, Chisamba Lungu, big striker Collins Mbesuma captain Rainford Kalaba leading the Chipolopolo for this game.

Three minutes into the game, Fwayo’s cross clipped the top of the crossbar after Nigeria goalkeeper Carl Ikeme made an error in his judgment of the flight of the ball.

Olympiakos striker Brown Ideye, on 15 minutes, was slipped through on goal by Iheanacho, but his lob over Zambia goalkeeper, Kennedy Mweene, went off target though the flag was already up for offside.

Fwayo then whipped in a low cross into Nigeria’s box in the 19th minute, Mbesuma held off his marker well and tried to set up Winston Kalengo whose heavy touch allowed Elderson Echiejile to clear.

Iwobi scored the first goal on 32 minutes when he fired from inside the box after the ball fell kindly for him.

Iwobi’s goal was what the Nigerians needed to get themselves into the groove as they held the ball better than in the opening minutes.

Three minutes before the break, Nigeria doubled their lead via some short passing play among Iheanacho, Mikel John Obi and Ideye. It was Iheanacho who received the final ball and rounded Mweene, took two touches before scoring to give Rohr’s men a 2-0 lead before the break.

In the second 45 minutes, whatever Nyirenda told the Chipolopolo in the locker room paid off as they had the Nigerians on the cosh for most of the business end of the game with Fwayo causing the Eagles’ defence some trouble.

Ikeme had to save from Mbesuma, Kalaba and Jackson Mwanza to keep Nigeria’s 2-0 lead in tact while Mikel had his dipping effort tipped over by Mweene at the other end.

But defensive error by Kenneth Omeruo allowed Mbesuma to fire in a low shot past Ikeme to give Zambia a lifeline with 19 minutes to time.

The Zambians continued to press for the equalizer with Kalaba, Mwanza, Rodgers Kola and Mbesuma all involved.

Nigeria will play hosts to Algeria in their next match in the qualification in November.