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Super Eagles Begins Qualifying Campaign On A Flying Note

14 June 2015, 10:04

Kaduna - Nigeria cruised to a 2-0 victory over Chad in Kaduna on Saturday evening, in their Group G opener of the 2017 African Cup of Nations Qualifiers.

Second half goals from Gbolahan Salami and Odion Ighalo added to the visitors' misery at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium.

Coach Stephen Okechukwu Keshi handed Kingsley Madu, Williams Troost-Ekong and Anderson Esiti starting roles for the game.

Captain Vincent Enyeama was in goal, while Madu was included in the defensive unit which was also made up of Kenneth Omeruo, Williams Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun.

Anderson Esiti played in midfield alongside Ogenyi Onazi and Michael Babatunde.

Aaron Samuel led the attack, with the duo of Ahmed Musa and Gbolahan Salami supporting him. 

The homers were determined to make up for the disappointments of not qualifying for the 2015 edition of the tournament held in Equatorial Guinea and they started the match bombarding their north-eastern neighbors.

Ahmed Musa failed to connect a pass from Leon Balogun in the 10th minute.

Les Sao of Chad had their first chance game as they made a mince of the Super Eagles' defence line and almost netted the curtain raiser as Kenneth Omeruo cleared the ball to safety.

The three-time AFCON champions continued to make their fans nervous.

Babatunde Michael found his way into the enemies' camp and couldn't punish them with his effort.

CSKA Moscow forward Ahmed Musa then forced goalkeeper Mbaramadji to a great save from a free-kick 22 minutes into the match.

There was no goal in the opening 30 minutes as both sides were eager to find a morale boosting opener. But the Super Eagles had failed to turn possession to the much needed opener.

Gbolahan Salami should have put the Super Eagles ahead but he missed a sitter with the keeper at his mercy, while a world class save by Vincent Enyeama saves the homers' blushes.

The first half ended with no goal scored and the fans asking questions on progress made by the Super Eagles so far.

Gbolahan Salami was the quickest out of the blocks after resumption. His long range strike was well saved by the goalkeeper.

Six minutes to the hour mark, China-based forward, Aaron Samuel rattled the cross bar with an excellent free-kick as the hosts searched for the much-awaited curtain raiser, while Ahmed Musa saw his attempts twice sniffed away by the duo of Asselmo and Mahamat.

The 2013 AFCON champions finally put the ball at the back of the net 62 minutes into the match.

Gbolahan Salami was put through on goal and he displayed predatory instincts to bury the ball beyond the goalkeeper.

The Super Eagles continued to make their presence felt with their one-touch style and penetrating approach.

Substitute Rabiu Ibrahim almost doubled the lead from a free-kick after Odion Ighalo was hacked down at the edge of the area.

Odion Ighalo then earned a spot-kick for the Super Eagles after he was brought down by Asselmo, while Ogenyi Onazi was sent-off for a challenge on a Chadian.

The Watford striker then stepped up to score from the spot as he sent a low shot past the goalkeeper.

Super Eagles Starters Vs Chad: Vincent Enyeama (c), Kingsley Madu, Kenneth Omeruo, Williams Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Ogenyi Onazi, Anderson Esiti, Michael Babatunde, Ahmed Musa, Gbolahan Salami, Aaron Samuel


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