The Super Eagles on Tuesday beat the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde 2 goals to 1 in their second match of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Even with the absence of Kelechi Iheanacho, Iwobi, Ndidid, and other UK-based players due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Super Eagles still managed a comeback and win the game.
A 75th-minute own goal by Cape Verde earned Nigeria a 2-1 win in their qualifying clash in Mindelo on Tuesday, a result that stabilized the Super Eagles’ leadership of the pool as they await a home-and-away fixture against the Central African Republic next month.
Dylan dos Santos steered the home team in front after 19 minutes of an intense back-and-forth by both sides, when he slipped behind the Eagles’ rearguard and slammed a rocket of a shot past goalkeeper Maduka Okoye.
The three-time African champions refused to be brow-beaten, and launched series of attacks, with Chidera Ejuke forcing the opposing goalkeeper to an acrobatic save in the 27th minute. Two minutes later, an alert Victor Osimhen would pull Nigeria level, stabbing home from close range after the goalkeeper punched following a defensive blunder.
In the 41st minute, the lively Ejuke again rattled the Cape Verde number one, before Osimhen came close to adding another one from a corner with a minute to recess.
Aside from the seven UK-based players, Serie A defender, Ola Aina, also did not travel with the squad to Mindelo and returned to Italy instead.
In the second half, Ahmed Musa latched onto a center by Osimhen as the Eagles pushed forward, but his tame shot was easily collected. Substitute Onyekuru was also guilty of putting too low a purchase on his shot in the 73rd minute as Nigeria streamed to the opposition area.
Two minutes later, in a spectacular backpass to his goalkeeper, Kenny Santos scored an own goal as the ball floated above the goaltender and landed in the net. The goal put Nigeria in front and eventually gave the Super Eagles the three points on the night.
Victory against Cape Verde took the Super Eagles to a maximum of six points from two matches, three points ahead of second-placed Liberia.