BY GODWIN AIKIGBE
Tactically outstanding Super Eagles of Nigeria on Friday annihilated Cameroon 4-0 in a 2018 World Cup African Group G qualifying tie at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo the Akwa Ibom State capital.
Odion Jude Ighalo, Mikel John Obi, Victor Moses and Kelechi Iheanacho accounted for the goals, as the Super Eagles clearly dominated the Indomitable Lions in front of home fans, who were more than compensated for the heartache suffered in the team’s 2-0 defeat to South Africa the last time out.
Ighalo opened the scoring on 29th minutes after outwitting a Cameroonian defender before planting the ball on the left side of the opponents’ goal. Moses, who showed why he was sorely missed in the last game against Bafana Bafana doubled the lead on 42 minutes after combining beautifully with Moses Simon, who was a constant thorn in the flesh of opposing defenders.
Mikel made it three on 55 minutes after tapping home from a close range, with Ighalo sailing over for the Tianjin Teda captain to make hale while Iheanacho rose from the bench to complete the rout on 76 minutes after heading home a precise cross by Simon.
The victory saw Nigeria extend their lead in Group B to seven and putting in good stead to pick the solitary ticket to next year’s Mundial in Russia.
The return leg holds on Monday 4 September in Yaounde, where a win for the African champions can only reduce Nigeria’s lead to four with two games to end the qualification series.
Ikechukwu Ezenwa lived up to his promise not to disappoint Nigerians. Late injury to Daniel Akpeyi turned out to be a blessing to the FC IfeanyiUbah goalkeeper who put up stellar displays between the sticks throughout the encounter.
The return of Mainz stopper Leon Balogun added both steel and stability to the backline, where wingbacks Elderson Echiejile and Shehu Abdullahi were incredibly brilliant.