How Super Eagles beat the reigning African champions 4-0 in race to Russia 2018



Nigeria’s Super Eagles beat the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon 4-0 in their Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier encounter in the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, on Friday, September 1, 2017.
Victory was achieved with goals scored in pairs either side of both halves by Odion Ighalo, Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, and substitute, Kelechi Iheanacho.
The Nigerian team had a scare in the opening minute of the game when a misjudged back pass required goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa to rush out and save before the onrushing Serge Lueco could get to it.
The rest of the game's opening minutes ran on with both teams threatening each other's defence without creating any clear cut chances.
Cameroon controlled most of the proceedings as they kept the Nigerian defence on the back foot resulting in a 4th minute shot from Nicolas Moumi that dipped over the bar.
Gernot Rohr's Super Eagles started to regain some composure in their game, with Moses and Ighalo proving a handful for the Cameroonian defence.
The team then went close to breaking the deadlock in the 19th minute after captain Mikel Obi set up Moses on the edge of the area, but he terribly miscued his effort at goal.
Michael Ngadeu Ngadjui got the first yellow card of the game in the 22nd minute after bringing down Ighalo on the edge of the goal area, with Moses scoring from the resulting free kick, but it was disallowed because Ighalo was adjudged to have interfered with the ball from an offside position.
The other Cameroonian centre back, Adolphe Teikeu, also got booked for kicking at Ighalo only moments later.
The caution for both central defenders tipped the game in Nigeria's favour as they seized complete control that almost paid off when Moses threatened with a header that went over the bar after Moses Simon whipped in a great cross from the right.
However, they finally made their domination count shortly after in the 29th minute as Ighalo latched onto a Mikel Obi pass down the middle, moved the ball past Ngadjui, and slotted it into the net behind goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa to put the hosts in front.
Cameroon tried to get back into the game immediately, but could not make much of the couple of corner kicks they were awarded by the referee.
With only ten minutes left to play in the first half, Moses dribbled through the Cameroonian defence before laying an incisive pass to an onrushing Simon, but he shot straight at the 'keeper who punched the ball out of play, denying Nigeria a second goal.
The team kept the reigning African champions on their back, with Moses messing up a simple pass to Ighalo that would have set him up to tap the ball into the net after a quick Nigerian counter attack.
However, the team scored their second goal from the resulting corner kick in the 42nd minute as Mikel Obi smashed the ball into the roof of the net after Ighalo brilliantly got out of the way of a bouncing cross from Moses.
The teams went in for the half time break with the Super Eagles in the ascendancy and the Cameroonian defence struggling to contain the relentless attacks with Moses and Simon a constant thorn on either side of the flanks, and Ighalo unstoppable down the middle.
Cameroon came out firing at the start of the second half with the champions attacking relentlessly, culminating in a stinging shot from Zambo Anguisa that Ezenwa caught with some discomfort.
Hugo Bross' side kept mounting the pressure on their Nigerian hosts who had to be resolute in their defending, with Leon Balogun marshaling the defensive back line to keep the visitors at bay in the early second half exchanges.
The visitors got carried away with committing too many players forward and got punished when Moses got a third goal for the Super Eagles in the 55th minute.
A Mikel Obi pass set up his former Chelsea teammate on a counter attack from inside the Nigerian half before he ran at the Cameroonian defence and set up Simon who returned a pass to him before he whipped the ball pass Ondoa to put the Eagles out of sight.
Ighalo was withdrawn for Kelechi Iheanacho in an injury enforced substitution, and he made an instant impact when he put Moses through on goal, but the Blues' wingback curved the ball over the bar.
Moses almost returned the favour after a long stretch of back and forth between both teams, setting Iheanacho up with a pass in the 18-yard box before Ngadjui intercepted and put it out for a corner.
A clearance from the Nigerian back line put Moses on another run forward that resulted in Nigeria effectively putting an end to the game with a goal from Iheanacho in the 76th minute.
After tricking his way past Serge Leuco, Moses sent substitute Ogenyi Onazi running down the right wing and he whipped in a cross that Iheanacho calmly nodded into the net with a dive at the near post past the helpless Ondoa.
The closing moments of the game saw both teams test their goalkeepers, with Ezenwa dropping a couple of crosses in his area, but Nigeria ran out comfortable winners.
The victory gives the Super Eagles a seven-point advantage over Cameroon in Group B with only one team set to progress to the finals in Russia. Nigeria has nine points from three fixtures while Cameroon has just two.
The second leg fixture between both teams will be played in Cameroon's capital city, Yaounde on Monday, September 4.

Other group opponents, Zambia and Algeria will play each other at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka on Saturday, September 2, with both teams having one point each.
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