Posted by News Express | 15 October 2014 | 3,360 times
Defending champions Nigeria revived their hopes of qualifying for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco by beating visiting Sudan 3-1 this evening at the National Stadium in Abuja.
It was sweet vengeance for the Nigerians, who were stunned 0-1 away in the first leg over the weekend and needed to win the return fixture to entertain any hopes of being in Morocco to defend their title.
After a barren first half marred by rain, the match came alive on the restart, when the rain had subsided considerably. It took only three minutes for pacy attacker to grab the first of his two goals of the evening, slotting to the far right after being fed by midfielder John Obi Mikel.
Sudan were back on terms five minutes late when Almadina left goalie Vincent Enyeama sprawling helplessly on the pitch but debutant Aaron Samuel Olanare restored Nigerian’s lead, with Musa icing the cake with a late strike.
Under-pressure coach Stephen Keshi made four changes to his starting XI, with Reading of England midfielder Hope Akpan, China-based striker Aaron Samuel Olanare, Raheem Lawal, Juwon Oshaniwa all being handed the baton from kick-off. Like Olanare, it was also the international debut for Akpan.
Regular fullbacks Efe Ambrose and Elderson Echiejile were dropped with Ogenyi Onazi starting at right back for the first time.
With the victory, Nigeria, which now have four points, have overhauled Sudan (three points) while table-topping South Africa and Congo will square up later tonight.
South Africa lead the standings with seven points, followed by Congo who have six points. Nigeria need to beat both teams (Congo away and South Africa at home) to be sure of qualification. Only the top two teams are guaranteed automatic passage to Maroc 2015.
•Photo shows two-goal hero Ahmed Musa.
No comments yet. Be the first to post comment.