Kelechi Iheanacho scored twice as Nigeria’s Super Eagles ran out 2-0 victors against the Lone Stars of Liberia in their Group C 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
Returning to Lagos for a match after their win over Lesotho in their AFCON qualifier earlier this year, the Super Eagles were facing Liberia on matchday one of their FIFA World Cup qualifying series with their entire squad available despite the decision of the English Premier League clubs to block players plying their trade in the league from travelling. The availability of the Super Eagles players was because Nigeria is not one of the United Kingdom’s red-zone countries.
Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho scored his first competitive goal in four years for the Super Eagles in the 22nd minute against Liberia. Iheanacho played a short corner kick to Everton’s Alex Iwobi before receiving the ball back. The Leicester City ace took an early shot that caught out the Liberia goalkeeper and went in at the near post to open the scoring for the Super Eagles.
Iheanacho added a second for the Super Eagles from another Iwobi assist on the stroke of half-time to send his side in for the half-time break in a place of comfort. A long throw from left back Jamilu Collins was missed by striker Victor Osimhen before Iwobi flicked on a header backwards for Iheanacho, who calmly controlled the ball before slotting home past the stranded goalkeeper with his weaker right foot from close range for his brace.
Super Eagles cruised through the second half against Liberia but struggled to create any quality openings in what was a flat and subdued second half performance against the Lone Stars. The second half ended with no real events of note as Nigeria closed out a 2-0 win to open their World Cup qualifying campaign.
Iheanacho scored twice to take his tally for the Super Eagles to 11 in 34 appearances, 23 of them starts. Super Eagles has now defeated Liberia 10 times in 15 meetings and sit on top of their Group C after Cape Verde and Central African Republic played a 1-1 draw in the other game in the group. Nigeria will now face Cape Verde on Tuesday September 7th in their second Group C match.