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Vengeful Super Eagles tame Wild Beasts to revive Qatar 2022 World Cup hopes

By Ifeanyi Ibeh
10 October 2021   |   3:01 pm
A maiden international goal for Leon Balogun and a strike from Victor Osimhen were some of the highlights at Douala's Japoma Stadium on Sunday as a revenge-seeking Super Eagles side defeated the Central Africa Republic 2-0 to avenge last Thursday's loss to the Wild Beasts and revive their quest for a ticket to the 2022…

Nigeria’s forward Victor Osimhen is challenged during the 2022 Qatar World Cup African qualifiers group 3 football match between Nigeria and Central Africa Republic. He was on target on Sunday against the CAR in Douala.

A maiden international goal for Leon Balogun and a strike from Victor Osimhen were some of the highlights at Douala’s Japoma Stadium on Sunday as a revenge-seeking Super Eagles side defeated the Central Africa Republic 2-0 to avenge last Thursday’s loss to the Wild Beasts and revive their quest for a ticket to the 2022 FIFA World Cup taking place in Qatar.

Gernot Rohr made three changes from the starting-XI that suffered that shock 1-0 loss to the CAR in Lagos, removing the trio of Francis Uzoho, Chidera Ejuke, and Ola Aina, and bringing in regular number one goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, Chidozie Awaziem, and Ahmed Musa, who officially made his 100th appearance for Nigeria after having two of his earlier caps yanked off by FIFA.

And it was Awaziem, playing as apart of a back-three alongside William Troost-Ekong and Balogun, who turned provider for Balogun’s and Nigeria’s opening goal on 29 minutes.

After the CAR, playing in Cameroon as a result of the ongoing war in their country, had partially cleared a long throw-in from danger, Awaziem floated a cross into the penalty area for Balogun, who had remained upfront after the throw-in, to volley into the back of the net.

One later became two for the Super Eagles as Osimhen, with just about the last kick of the half, slammed home from close range after connecting onto a low cross from Troost-Ekong. It was the eighth international goal in his 16th appearance for the 22-year-old Napoli forward.

And eight international goals could easily have turned into nine in the 57th minute for Osimhen after the former Lille player latched onto a perfect through ball from Joe Aribo before rounding the CAR goalkeeper, but before his low shot could find its way into the back of the gaping net up stepped CAR captain Saint-Cry Ngam Ngam with a last-ditch clearance to keep the score line respectable.

The win took the Super Eagles’ points tally to nine as they remain top of Group C.