Nigeria put five past Tahiti in a game where two brothers were sent off for the Islanders, but some wasteful finishing might hamper their hopes of qualification.


As expected, the Flying Eagles were dominant in the opening stages, keeping Tahiti camped in their own half, but had to wait 15 minutes for their first goal. Wingers Omatsone Aluko and King Osanga combined well to supply Obiora Nwankwo, who fired past Teave Teamotuaitau.

There was almost an embarrassing moment for the Nigerians four minutes later when Steevy Chong Hue raced past Daniel Adejo to present him with a one_on_one opportunity. However, Uche Okafor raced off his line to stop the ball with his legs.

Nigeria doubled their advantage in the 24th minute when Ibok Edet took advantage of some slack marking to head home King Osanga’s corner. Ten minutes later it was 3_0, when Kehinde Fatai slipped past Tehvarii Ludivion and side_footed home from another Osanga corner.

Chong Hue had another opportunity from the edge of the box, but fired straight into the arms of the keeper, and Danny Uchechi should have done better with a glorious chance, but the stand_in skipper missed the target completely.

Two minutes before half_time, Tahiti were reduced to ten men when Lorenzo Tehau was dismissed for his second yellow of the night. With the final kick of the game, Nigeria scored their fourth, when Nurudeen Orelesi’s outrageous cross_cum_shot curled into the net.
The second half was largely a frustrating one for the Africans.

Uchechi hit the post with a downward header, but their cause was given a further boost in the 74th minute when Tahiti were reduced to nine men; this time it was Alvin Tehau, brother of Lorenzo, who saw red _ again for a second bookable offence.But still Nigeria could not find a breakthrough. Substitute Raheem Lawal stung the hands of Teamotuaitau from the edge of the box and many more Flying Eagles chances were wasted.

Adejo made it five in the final minute, but Samson Siasia and his side face a nervy wait with a goal difference of plus two to see if they will end up as one of the four best third placed sides.

Results from other centers will determine whether Nigeria will emerge as one of the best losers. If they don’t, they should blame themselves for poor play especially when Tahiti were playing short of two players for over 20 minutes and they managed to score only one goal. Spain and Venezuela hammered same team 8-0 each. It simply shows how poor Nigeria’s team to Egypt is.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.