Nigeria moved a step closer toward qualification for the 2014 World Cup taking place in Brazil with a 2-0 victory over Malawi in Calabar on Saturday.
The two goals were scored by Emmanuel Emenike and Victor Moses
If the Malawians were intimidated by the reigning African champions playing on their home soil they didn’t show it as they tackled the ‘Super Eagles’ man-for-man. Within the second minute of the match, Limbikani Mzava of Malawi was booked for a rough challenge on a goal bound Victor Moses.
What should have been Nigeria’s first goal came in the 11th minute when Musa converted a John Obi Mikel cross but his effort was declared offside.
As the first half almost came to a close, Emenike scored Nigeria’s first goal with a carefully orchestrated assist from Onazi.
In the early minutes of the second half, Musa failed to double Nigeria’s lead after missing a one-on-one opportunity with the goalkeeper who gathered safely to keep the Flames in the game. Shortly afterwards Emenike was denied by the same goalkeeper.
The penalty that gave Nigeria her second goal came in the 51st minute when Nnamdi Oduamadi was brought down by the Malawian skipper, James Sangala. Victor Moses stepped up to take the penalty kick, which whistled past the Malawian goalkeeper for Nigeria’s second goal thereby sealing all hopes of a Malawian comeback.
A few minutes later, the visitors were reduced to 10 men after Limbikani Mzava was sent off for a second yellow to compound Malawi’s misery.
Musa’s battle with the Malawi goalkeeper continued in the 68th minute as he was unable to score again in a one on one situation. Even with the introduction of Newcastle forward Shola Ameobi for his competitive debut, Nosa Igiebor and Uche Nwofor, Nigeria failed to get the third goal after missing several scoring chances.
With this result, Nigeria are now through to the final play-off round of World Cup 2014 qualification and will know their opponents when the draw is made in a few days.