Nigeria’s Super Eagles closed out their AFCON 2022 qualifying campaign with a dominant 3-0 win over the Crocodiles of Lesotho in their first competitive game in Lagos in 20 years.
The Super Eagles started the game on the front foot and Samuel Chukwueze was the brightest player on the pitch in the opening exchanges. The Super Eagles eventually opened the scoring, and it was the dynamic duo of Kelechi Iheanacho and Victor Osimhen that combined. Iheanacho played a brilliantly weighted pass into the path of Osimhen who darted across the box and slammed a first time finish beyond the despairing Lesotho goalkeeper in the 23rd minute for his fifth goal in qualifying. The Eagles were lucky to maintain their lead as Lesotho had the ball in the back of the net, only for it to be ruled out for offside. Nigeria’s goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho remained largely untested as the half drew to an end. The Super Eagles continued the second half just as they finished the first, with the team playing very much on the front foot. Their lead was soon doubled as a sweeping move involving Iheanacho, Chukwueze and Osimhen ended with Osimhen laying a perfect pass for the arriving Oghenekaro Etebo to sidefoot home his first Super Eagles goal since 2016, making it 2-0 to the home side. Coach Rohr decided to throw on giant striker, Paul Onuachu and Galatasaray winger, Henry Onyekuru. Both men combined brilliantly as Nigeria got a third goal. Iheanacho was once again involved in the build up to the goal, as he played a pass to Onyekuru inside the Lesotho box, and Onyekuru just laid the ball off to Onuachu who controlled the ball and blasted a half volley into the top corner of the net for his second consecutive Super Eagles goal. There was also a late introduction for Ahmed Musa as the winger made his 96th appearance for the Super Eagles, leaving him only 5 behind record holder, Vincent Enyeama.
The Super Eagles had a comfortable game in Lagos, and the team looked like one to look out for in the tournament proper with the way they controlled the game. Young Napoli striker, Osimhen continues to turn heads with his performances with the Super Eagles, as he finished the qualifying campaign with 5 goals and 5 assists in only 5 appearances. Attention now turns to the World Cup qualifiers, which commence in the next international break.