The race for the 2015 African Cup of Nations for Nigeria was on Saturday brightened as the Super Eagles secured a 2-0 win against the Red Devils of Congo in Pointe Noire.
Ikechukwu Uche, who is making a welcome return to the Eagles fold, converted a penalty in the 57th minute of the game after Emmanuel Emenike, who received a key pass from John Mikel Obi was fouled in the box.
Midfielder Hope Akpan who won a lot of balls in midfield was substituted after suffering from a shoulder injury and replaced by Sone Aluko.
Congo despite playing cautiously and resorting to counter attacks had some good spells in the game with Thievy Bifouma and Fode Dore causing countless worries for the Eagles’ backline.
Vincent Enyeama saved a 65th minute penalty as Godfrey Oboabona was yellow-carded for a hand ball. Replay howevershowed the referee was WRONG.
Mikel Obi controlled brilliantly and sent it forward in the 76th minute but Aluko’s shot after receiving the ball is wide and tame.Uche’s effort two minutes later is a bit too high after a cross from a sprinting Aaron Samuel.
The wave of Nigerian attacks continued but Ahmed Musa loses the ball after a slalom run with eleven minutes left on the clock, Uche with a key pass to him in that situation.
Congo wasted a golden chance to restore parity with a defender shooting wide to the relief of the pensive Nigerian bench.
Aaron Samuel scores Nigeria’s decisive second goal on the 90th minute, deftly placing the ball beyond the Congo keeper with his left foot.
The Super Eagles’ lead caused pandemonium in the stands as restive Congo fans threw objects unto the pitch which caused the game to be temporarily halted.
The Eagles’ defence held on stoutly after the referee had added after eleven minutes was added after 90
Earlier in the day, South Africa booked their spot in Equatorial Guinea 2015 with a 2-1 win over Sudan, a
befitting victory in memory of the late keeper, Senzo Meyiwa.
Nigeria will join the Bafana Bafana in booking a ticket to the Nations Cup where they will defend their 2013 title with a win over the South Africans on Wednesday.