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Super Eagles finished their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign with a runaway 14 points after defeating Lesotho 3-0 in the last game of the series yesterday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
After two decades, the Eagles returned to Lagos for their first competitive game and left the ground smiling with all three points in the kitty.
On a day Head Coach of the Nigerian senior national team coach, Gernot Rohr, rested his 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, Eagles got the job done with relative ease.
Napoli forward, Victor Osimhen, benefitted from a well-placed lob from Kelechi Iheanacho, to outfox Lesotho goalkeeper Moerane Sekhoane for Nigeria’s first goal in the 22nd minute.
Samuel Chukwueze, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Osimhen threatened again as the game wore on, but at the other end, Uzoho had to be alert as Thabo Lesaoana picked the far angle from a free kick 22 yards out.
But five minutes into the second half, Oghenekaro Etebo made it two for Nigeria following a counter-attack orchestrated by Wilfred Ndidi and ended with Samuel Chukwueze and Victor Osimhen routing the Lesotho rearguard for the energetic midfielder to place the ball beyond Sekhoane.
In the 70th minute, Ndidi spearheaded another fast break and conscripted Osimhen and Iheanacho into his plan, but the Crocodiles cleared their lines even after Sekhoane had been beaten.
Substitute Paul Onuachu, the scorer of the only goal against Benin Republic in Porto Novo last Saturday, lashed in the third goal in the 83rd minute as the Eagles swept forward once more, taking Sekhoane completely unaware.
Next up for the Eagles is the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying race, which starts at the end of May.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK