Ahmed Musa, Chidozie Awaziem and Odion Ighalo all found the back of the net as three –time champions of the African – Nigeria’s Super Eagles got their first three points of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers after beating the Pirates of Seychelles 3-0 on Saturday in Mahé Island saturday.
Interestingly the Super Eagles dominated easily and should have won by a wider margin had Odion Ighalo and Kelechi Iheanacho converted some begging opportunities during the game, which could be said to be a battle between an elephant and a goat. Seychelles is the smallest country in Africa. Midfielder Wilfred Ndidi was the first to confirm the Eagles were in for serious business when his 9th minute shot was headed out for a corner, and two minutes later, debutant Samuel Kalu practically breezed his way past the home defence only to be thwarted.
Ogenyi Onazi also saw a shot fly over the bar before Ahmed Musa let fly a left-foot rocket that shook the crossbar before hitting the Seychelles goalkeeper’s back to roll into the net in the 15th minute. As if that signaled intent for the business of the day, defender Chidozie Awaziem reacted faster than the home defence to blast home after a free –kick by Kelechi Iheanacho saw the ball kiss the upright and bounce across the face of goal. Two minutes later, with only the goalkeeper to beat, Ighalo lifted the ball too high for what should have been Nigeria’s third.
The Pirates started the second half with greater enthusiasm but Leon Balogun was in charge of a ruthless defence with no intention to soak in goals in such an all-important game. In the 55th minute Musa lifted the ball and shot again with his weaker left, but the goalkeeper was alert to block for a corner. Two minutes later, France –based Kalu, who did his Nigerian prospects no harm with an impressive debut, was upended in the vital area as he went on another breezy run. Ighalo made no mistake from the spot, for Nigeria’s third. Victory over Libya in Kaduna on October 13, would brighten Nigeria’s chances for a place at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals. South Africa played 0-0 draw at home to Libya, who go top of Group E on goal difference above Bafana Bafana.