It was a good night for the Nigerians and football fans, as the Super Eagle kicked off the 2018 world cup qualifier with a 2-1 win against Zambia.
The winning goals were scored by Nigerian English premiere league stars, Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho.
The fast paced match took place before a capacity 40,000 crowd at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in central city Ndola, at which President Edgar Lungu was present.
Both 20-year old strikers, Alex Iwobi and Iheanacho scored the 2 winning goals within the first half. Arsenal forward, Iwobi scored a goal at 32 minutes; and 10 minutes later Iheanacho of Manchester City scored his.
Mikel, the team’s captain, John Mikel Obi would gave registered a 3rd goal but the shot was tipped over the bar by Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene.
Zambia stepped up their game in the second half, during which they scored a goal, thanks to Zambia’s Collins Mbesuma. An equalizer would have been registered but was lost.
It was quite a loss for Zambia’s Copper Bullets since they were struggling to make it to the World Cup for the very first time. On the other hand, Nigeria has made it to the finals five times already.
Nigeria falls under the Group B category, tagged the ‘group of death’. The group contains three World Cup qualifiers in 2014 – Algeria, Cameroon and Nigeria.
Algeria and Cameroon played to a 1-1 draw. The Algerian team featured Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani. Algeria’s El Arabi Soudani gave the first goal while Cameroon’s Benjamin Moukandjo equalised before half-time.
Also celebrating their victory for the 2018 World Cup qualifier are Egypt and Tunisia. Egypt defeated Congo with a 2-1 score in Brazzaville for the Group E category. Tunisia also defeated Guinea with a 2-0 score in group A.