…as Nigeria qualify for AFCON in style
The Nigeria U-23 team players were very ruthless on Tuesday as they defeated Sudan 5-0 in the second leg of the qualifiers for the 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations scheduled for Egypt in November.
After losing the first leg 1-0 in Omdurman last week Thursday, the coach Imama Amakapabo-led players were condemned to secure a good win to stand a chance of qualifying for the AFCON and a step closer to the 2020 Olympic Games.
Amakapabo made some changes to the team that lost 1-0 in Sudan with Nigeria Professional Football League joint top scorer Ibrahim Sunusi replacing Stephen Odey while there was return for newly-signed Huesca of Spain midfielder, Kelechi Nwakali, in the line-up.
It was great start for Nigeria as they took the lead in the eight minute after Taiwo Awoniyi nodded the ball into the net.
Sunusi’s screamer was spilled by goalkeeper Mohammed Adamu to the path of Taiwo Awoniyi who shows gratitude with a great strike.
The Nigeria side continued to press for the assurance goal and it came in the 26th minutes through Akwa United’s striker Ndifreke Effiong, who scored through another header.
With the half time beckoning, the Olympic Eagles put the game beyond the Sudanese when Effiong stayed at the right place to pounce on Ebube Duru’s low cross to hit home for his second and Eagles’ third of the night.
Nigeria continued with the onslaught in the second half but has to wait till the 66th minute to get another goal.
The coach had made some substitution in the second half with Sunday Faleye replacing Blessing Olabiran, who had series of misses in the game and wasted no time in announcing himself, scoring with his first touch of the game off an assist from the impressive Sunusi.
It was a great reward for the NPFL’s top scorer when he turned from providing assist to scoring a goal as he completed the massacre in the 68th minute.
Faleye goes on series of step-overs before locating the lurking Sunusi who scored the fifth goal for the Olympic Eagles