Super Eagles Qualification for Final Playoffs Down to the Wire!

November 14, 2021 0 By Oha

Super Eagles qualification for the final playoffs of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been delayed till Tuesday after the three-time African champions defeated Liberia 2-0 yesterday and closest rival in Group C, Cape Verde, also secured a 2-1 victory over the Central African Republic.

Eagles on 12 point, two more than Cape Verde, need just a draw against the Blue Sharks in Lagos to be through to the final playoffs in March. Cape Verde on the other hand will need to win to go through.

Two strikes from the penalty spot earned Nigeria all three points against the Lone Star of Liberia at the Grand Stade de Tangier, Morocco.

Victor Osimhen took his tally in the qualifying series to three goals when he slammed home from six yards in the 14th minute, after strike partner Kelechi ‘Senior Man’ Iheanacho was scythed in the box as he proceeded to beat goalkeeper Wynney de Souza from a long pass.

Both teams spent much of the time sizing each other up, with the Super Eagles failing to seize on the momentum offered by the first goal to dominate and out-muzzle the ‘hosts’ in front of an empty arena.

The Lone Star showed some sparkles and got behind the Eagles rearguard on two occasions only to be denied by an alert Maduka Okoye.

Workhorse Moses Simon toiled at the fore and at the rear throughout to keep the right side of the Super Eagles going.

In the 28th minute, the Super Eagles thought they had scored a second when defender Jamilu Collins strung the ball past de Souza, only to be ruled off-side by Tunisian referee Youssef Essrayri.

Osimhen, energetic and vibrant, should have made it two for Nigeria minutes later, but shot into the sky with only de Souza to beat.

In the second half, both teams had chances to score but it was Eagles that added to their tally in added time when Osimhen got behind de Souza after being sent through by Iheanacho, only to be upended by Souza.

It gave captain Ahmed Musa, who on the day became Nigeria’s senior caps’ record holder by playing his 102nd game, the opportunity to score from the spot.

Elsewhere, Group B is wide open after leaders Tunisia suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat in Equatorial Guinea.

Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea and Zambia all head into the final round of Group B fixtures with a chance to progress after Saturday’s results.

Equatorial Guinea moved level with Tunisia on 10 points as Pablo Ganet stunned the Eagles of Carthage with his 84th-minute goal.

Zambia are three points behind the pair after Rangers forward Fashion Sakala scored a hat-trick in their 4-0 win over Mauritania.

Egypt, Mali, Morocco and Senegal have already secured their places in the play-offs, where Africa’s five representatives in Qatar will be decided.