A brace by Nigeria and Locomotive Moscow forward, Osaze Odemwinge, helped Nigeria to a deserved 3-0 win over Mozambique and a ticket to the quarter-final of the 27th African Cup of Nations.

The Nigerians waited till the 45th minute before Osaze broke the deadlock against the run of play.  Before that it appeared a difficult game for the Nigerians as the Mambas of Mozambique kept pressing for the much-needed opener but the Nigerian defence stood firm and denied their aggressive opponents any space within the box. Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama made some saves to maintain a clean slate.

The first half ended 1-0 in favour of Nigeria.The second half began with both sides trying to impress but the Eagles exuded more confidence having taken the lead in the first half.

With better ball exchanges and enjoying a better control of the ball, the Nigerians assumed total control of the game as the Locomotive Moscow forward doubled the scores with a clinical finish off a pass from stand-in captain, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, in the 47th minute.

Soon after, Coach Shaibu Amodu made some quick changes bringing in Obafemi

Martins for Yakubu Aiyegbeni, while Osaze Odemwinge was replaced by Obinna Nsofor.Martins, who secured Nigeria’s World/Nations Cup tickets with a brace in the last qualifier in Nairobi, Kenya, registered his name on the scorers’ sheet in the 86th minute after shooting in a rebound off the Mozambican goalkeeper who parried a Mikel Obi’s goal-bound shot only to meet the Wolfsburg attacker to make it 3-0 for Nigeria.

The victory will be a soothing balm to most Nigerian football fans and officials who have threatened to sack coach Shaibu Amodu if he failed to put up a convincing performance against the Mambas.With the victory, Nigeria  now join Egypt to advance to the quarter-final of the tournament.


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