The Super Eagles of Nigeria soared high in concluding their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series with a commanding 3-0 defeat of the Crocodiles of Lesotho at an upgraded and effervescent Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, Reel Radio reports.
Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr rested first choice goalie Maduka Okoye and started Tyronne Ebuehi at right back instead of Olaoluwa Aina, Oghenekaro Etebo started in place of Joseph Ayodele-Aribo and Alex Iwobi picked shirt ahead of Henry Onyekuru after the Everton defender tested negative to COVID-19, days after he was said to have been positive in Benin Republic.
Yet, the flow of the squad was not in any way affected as they started in top gear, with Turkey –based Etebo drilling narrowly wide of the far post in the 8th minute following a good pass from the nimble –footed Samuel Chukwueze. Five minutes later, Osimhen had the ball in the net after a typical sweet exchange with Kelechi Iheanacho, but it was ruled off-side.
Even as Tumelo Khutlang tried Francis Uzoho from afar and the slippery Teboho Sello danced past Ebuehi and squared into the box.
Super Eagles who are returning to their natural home after 20 years and buoyed by the fans as well as the Supporters club took the lead in the 22nd minute through Napoli’s front man, Victor Osimhen.
However, a fan jumped over the barriers from the section G of the stadium, beat the security and ran onto the pitch to celebrate the goal.
He was, however, arrested and whisked away by the security agents.
The Nigerian side maintained possession for the greater part of the first half, seeking a second goal which didn’t come till the second half.
In the 50th minute, Oghenekaro Etebo doubled the lead to the excitement of fans.
Nigeria continued to probe further for more goals and were duly rewarded in the 83rd minute when substitute Paul Onachu scored his second goal in two games as Nigeria ended the game 3-0.
Following the conclusion of the qualifying series, Nigeria won Group L with 14 points gained from six games where they secured four wins, two draws and no loss.