Nigeria breathed life into their AFCON 2019 qualifying campaign as they claimed a 3-0 win at Seychelles on Saturday.
Having lost their opening game 2-0 to South Africa in Uyo last year, Gernot Rohr’s men were desperate to grab all three points from their trip to the east African country. Deservedly, they got what they were hoping for.
It took the visitors 15 minutes to get in front — with World Cup star Ahmed Musa continuing where he left off. The winger hit the left post with an exquisite volley, only for the ball to rebound against the back of the diving Seychelles goalkeeper and into the net.
On 34 minutes, Nigeria rattled the upright again — this time through Kelechi Iheanacho’s low freekick — and the ball fell nicely to Chidozie Awaziem, who riffled home for his first international goal.
Odion Ighalo sealed the win 12 minutes after the restart, scoring from the penalty spot after debutant Samuel Kalu was fouled in the hosts’ box.
With South Africa and Libya playing out a goalless draw in Durban, Nigeria are now just a point behind leaders Libya, who are level on four points with the the southern Africans.
Which Nigeria player impressed the most. Here are our ratings.
Bar flicking a seemingly harmless corner behind, the goalkeeper was largely idle. Didn’t exude confidence despite Seychelles offering very little threat. 5⃣/🔟
Scored his first goal for the team. Surged forward quite often. Energetic display before being taken off injured.7⃣/🔟
Booked for a tackle from behind. Switched off on three occasions. 4⃣/🔟
Led the defence well. Barely put a foot wrong. 8⃣/🔟
Made some useful tackles. 6⃣/🔟
Energetic all afternoon. 7⃣🔟
Brilliant debut. Was a major attacking outlet. His movement and dribbling skills caused the hosts problems. Deservedly won a penalty. 8⃣/🔟
Scored with a stunning volley. Denied by goalkeeper’s leg in the second half.9⃣/🔟
Hit the left upright with a freekick. Picked a yellow for a rough tackle. 5⃣🔟
Scored Nigeria’s third from the penalty spot. Rattled the crossbar with a lob. However, many would question Rohr’s continued faith in the Changchun Yatai striker, given his overall performance in the game.6⃣/🔟
Helped galvanize the midfield. 5⃣🔟
Looked dangerous after coming on for Kalu. Headed a cross just wide.7⃣🔟
Made his debut. Looked solid. 7⃣/🔟