The Super Eagles moved an inch further to the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup with a stimulating 3-1 win over the Desert Foxes of Algeria in Uyo Saturday evening.
The Nigerians started the game slowly with the Algerians dictating the pace but once the Super Eagles got their acts together, they were unstoppable.
Chelsea wingback, Victor Moses who was a torn in the flesh of the visitors gave Nigeria the lead with a crafty goal midway into the first half before his Chelsea teammate and team captain, John Obi Mikel made it two before halftime after the Algerian defence thought he was in an offside position.
Mikel who also was unsure if he was onside or not, looked around after a through ball from Oghenekaro Etebo and when the linesmen on his far right didn’t raise his flag, blasted the ball into the opponent’s net.
The second half was much more intense than the first as the visitors came out like a swarm of bees, punctuating every move by Nigeria and looking even more dangerous that the hosts who were two goals ahead.
Desperate to reduce the tally and make it more competitive for them, the Foxes through Leicester City forward, Riyad Mahrez seized initiative in the midfield and made possession difficult for the Eagles.
Their efforts paid off when Bentalleb rifled home from 25 yards to bring back hopes of a late rally for Algeria. But the Nigerians had other ideas.
Nigeria manager, Gernot Rohr made three quick changes and it paid off. The new blood, Ahmed Musa, Wilfred Ndidi and Shehu Abdulahi inject pace into the Nigerian side and it led to the back breaking goal scored by Victor Moses minutes to the end of the match to make it Nigeria 3 Algeria 1.
The result puts the Super Eagles in the driving seat of the group after Cameroon forced Zambia to a one all draw in Yaoundé.
Nigeria 6 points
Cameroon 2 points
Zambia 1 point
Algeria 1 point