The Super Eagles yesterday eliminated Swaziland from the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign after two second-half goals to advance to the next round of the qualifying tournament on a 2-0 aggregate. The first leg last Friday ended in a scoreless draw in Lubambo.
Moses Simon opened scoring for Nigeria, six minutes into the second after a sublime free kick before Celtic defender Efe Ambrose tapped home a second goal, three minutes from time.
Phumlami Dlamini of Swaziland was sent off in the closing minutes of the explosive duel for a second booking.
Swaziland applied defensive tactics that Nigeria failed to break.
Though the Eagles had a handful of scoring opportunities in the first period, they fluffed, as Ahmed Musa, Moses Simon and Odion Ighalo all wasted their chances.
After half an hour, Ighalo was clear of goal but his shot with only the goalkeeper to beat screamed way off target.
But three minutes later, Swaziland came close to break the deadlock but Sandile Hlatwako, who scored a t brace against Djibouti in the previous round of the qualifiers, ballooned his shot from deep inside the Nigeria box.
Moses Simon’s superb free kick goal soon after the interval calmed many nerves after Sylvester Igbonu missed a sitter in the 47th minute with the entire Swaziland defence including the goalkeeper at his mercy. His scoffed shot missed the target somehow.
Ighalo was full of endeavor but ineffective and in the 72nd minute, Moses Simon had a chance to get a brace but his low shot from inside the box was firmly held by goalkeeper Gwebu.
Swaziland were not done yet as in the 83rd minute, Ikeme made his biggest save of the day when he tipped away for a corner an audacious lob by Njabulo Ndlovu, which was heading for goal.
Efe Ambrose’s goal in the 87th minute off a free kick by Igbonu will then put the game beyond a resolute Swaziland side, who must certainly be proud of what they produced against the more illustrious hosts even without their inspirational skipper Tony Tsabedze.
Nigeria coach Sunday Oliseh sensationally dropped Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi for Sunshine Stars Paul Onobi and it was a gamble that paid off as the Eagles midfield was a lot more creative than it was in Swaziland last week.
Domestic league stars Chima Akas and Austin Oboroakpo were also preferred to their Europe-based counterparts as Nigeria went for broke against a team ranked 71 spots below them by FIFA.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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