Victor Moses and fellow compatriot at Chelsea FC, John Mikel Obi puts a man of the match and individual performances against Algeria to help Nigeria win their second straight World Cup Qualifiers game at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo – with the former scoring twice at both side of the halves.
The Super Eagles coach, Rohr said it before the game that Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho are his best players after the young attacking duos struck twice against the Shipolopolo of Zambia in their first qualifying game, but that quality was absent from the youngsters as Chelsea’s Moses and captain Mikel led the rampant demolition of Algeria in Saturday’s match.
The game started in a slow pace with Algeria forcing Nigeria into their own half in the first 5 minutes and it was the Desert Foxes that had the first chance of the game with Islam Slimani firing wide in a prominent position after being teed up by Yasine Brahimi.
Some minutes later, the Algerians side threaten again on the counter-attack and this time it was Leicester City forward and last season’s Premier League best player of the year, Riyad Mahrez that had the better chance, but his right footed effort just went narrowly wide.
Soon after, the Foxes paid for their missed opportunity as Moses drove home from inside the box after being set up by Mikel. Although his first touch was too heavy, but he managed to capitalised on the Algerian defender’s mistake who failed to clear the ball as he bundled home Nigeria’s opener from close range.
Few minutes to the end of first half, Ogeyi Onazi played a through ball to Mikel who was onside and the captain made no mistake as he sends the Algerian goalie the wrong way to make it two nil at first half. Although, the play looks as if he was offside after the Foxes’ defenders failed to dealt with a corner at the edge of the box, but the replay shows Mikel was kept onside by one of the men in white player.
The restart of the second half looks more promising for the visitors as their threat on the attack led by Mahrez and Brahimi paid off when the later set up Shalke 04’s midfielder Bentaleb after a good foot work at the far left of the Nigerian half. The midfielder made no mistake as he drove a superb left footed strike from 30 yards into the far net, leaving Nigeria’s goalkeeper with no chance. The game was then lit up and the Foxes continue to threaten with Slimani forcing a block from Leon Balogun.
The introduction of Ahmed Musa and Wilfred Ndidi changed the momentum for the Eagles as they wrapped the game in style after the former set up Moses to net home his second of the match moving Nigeria to top with four point clear.
Draws between Cameroun and Zambia in Yaounde means Nigeria sits first with 6 points while Cameroun stays second with 2 points and Zambia and Algeria remains third and fourth with 1 point apiece.