By Olanrewaju Akojede
Lagos, Sept. 3, 2021
The Super Eagles of Nigeria got their World Cup qualifier for Qatar 2022 campaign off on a good start courtesy of in-form Leister City forward Kelechi Iheanacho’s brace in the first half of their game against Lone Stars of Liberia.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Day 1 Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier played in a near-empty Teslim Balogun stadium, Surulere, Lagos, had the star-studded Nigeria side overpower the less-fancied Lone Stars of Liberia.
The game was, however, decided in the first half of the one-sided game as the former youth international Iheanacho put Nigeria through in the 22nd and 44th minutes.
The second half of the game had the Super Eagles tone down the pace of the game with fewer shots on goal with Napoli forward, Victor Osimhen losing a glorious chance to add to the tally.
The second half, however, had the coach of the team make five changes with first double substitute Paul Onuachu coming in for Osimhen while Samuel Kalu came in for quiet Moses Simon.
Late into the game, both Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi made way for the Captain Ahmed Musa and right full back Shehu Abdullahi.
While late deep into the extra time, Joe Aribo was substituted for newly signed Watford midfielder, Oghenekaro Etebo.
The two goal hero, Iheanacho was, however, awarded the Man of the Match to pocket the N1m prize money from one of the sponsors, 33 Export.
Iwobi, who also put up a 5-star performance walked away with another cash prize of N1m courtesy another NFF partner, GAC Motor for the Most Valuable Player of the match.
With the win, the Super Eagles top the Group C of the Qatar 2022 qualifiers with three maximum points.
The Super Eagles are due to face the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde on Tuesday Sept. 7, for the Day 2 World Cup elimination fixtures.