Nigeria surprisingly made
a hard job of beating Seychelles on the final day of the 2019 Africa
Cup of Nations qualification series, but the performance on Friday
was put down to the fact that the Super Eagles had made sure of a
place in Egypt before kick –off.
What was supposed to be a
stroll turned into a trudge as the Eagles failed to find the opener,
and the semi-professionals from the Indian Ocean island impressed
with some inswingers and smart pull –outs.
Cape Verdian referee
Fabricio Duarte awarded Nigeria a penalty in the 34th minute, judging
that midfielder Wilfred Ndidi had been unfairly hacked in the box.
Odion Ighalo made no mistake from the spot, recreating the spot kick
he scored to make it 3-0 for the Eagles in Seychelles during the
first leg in September 2018.
Six minutes later, a free
kick close to the box by Oghenekaro Etebo was punched away by the
brilliant Ah Kong Ian. A minute later, Nigerian goalkeeper Francis
Uzoho’s howler, as he came out to punch the ball from a free –kick,
allowed Melanie Rody good time and space to equalize.
In the 50th minute, Henry
Onyekuru headed past Ian from a pull –out by Jamilu Collins, to
restore Nigeria’s lead. But the visitors again came close to
securing a leveler in the 73rd minute as a Mellie Warren missed the
ball in the six –yard box from a low pull –out.
Substitute Moses Simon
made it 3-1 for Nigeria as he slotted firmly into the net after a run
from the left flank by Collins.
The Eagles will on Tuesday
at the same venue tackle the Pharaohs of Egypt in a prestige
international friendly.  

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