… edge out Venezuela in 2011 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
The second half goals by Joseph Yobo and Victor Obinna gave Nigeria a 2-0 victory in Madagascar on Sunday keeping alive hopes of African Nations Cup qualification.
Nigeria kept pace with Group B leaders Guinea, who they will host in the final qualifying match next month. The two sides have 10 points but Guinea were playing Ethiopia later on Sunday.
Captain Yobo scored from a John Obi Mikel corner in the 68th minute and Obinna hit home a long-range shot for a second eight minutes later in a result that will have provided much relief for the beleaguered Nigerians.
Nigeria coach Samson Siaisa, who earlier this week criticised his top players for a casual attitude towards national team duty, dropped long-standing first-choice goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama who had led a team sit-in over dissatisfaction with travel arrangements.
Nigeria now travel from Madagascar to Bangladesh where they play Argentina in a friendly on Tuesday.
Nigeria edge out Venezuela in 2011 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
Nigeria re-ignited their hopes of progressing to the next stage of the 2011 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup with a 5-3 win against pointless Venezuela.
Venezuela can still reach the quarter-finals if they can get a result in their final game against Russia, while Nigeria will face Tahiti with fresh optimism when the next round of fixtures are played on Tuesday 6 September.
The opening goal came exactly five minutes into the match, captain Edgar Quintero’s volley giving Venezuela the lead. Nigeria reacted positively and peppered the opposition goal with shots before Isiaka Olawale grabbed an equaliser with a header.
Three minutes later, Olawale got his and Nigeria’s second goal, which was enough for them to hold a 2-1 advantage at the end of the first period.
Midway through the second period, Venezuela got back on level terms in lucky circumstances, Nelson Nwosu scoring an unfortunate own goal to make it 2-2.
But in the final minute of the period, the Nigerians regained the lead which their play deserved through Victor Tale, whose goal made it 3-2 as the second period came to a close.
Shortly after the third period started, Tale scored again to give Nigeria a two-goal cushion. But Kevin Camargo replied just twenty seconds later, after a poor defensive error, to keep Venezuela in contention.
However, Nigeria wrapped up the win with a goal in the final seconds, Nwosu converting a free-kick to make up for his earlier misfortune.