By Kayode Ogundare in Uyo (Photo by Ganiyu Yusuf):
The Super Eagles made it three wins out of three following a resounding 4-0 thrashing of African champions Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in Group B of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Uyo on Friday.
Goals from Odion Ighalo, Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and Kelechi Iheanacho secured the emphatic win for the Eagles.
With the win, the Eagles are now on nine points, seven points ahead of Cameroon in the group.
Cameroon almost took a shock lead under one minute following a back header by Leon Balogun but Ikechukwu Ezenwa was alert to the danger and got to the ball before the visitors’ player could reach it.
In the seventh minute, Cameroon won a free-kick in a good area but Ezenwa came out to claim the ball.
Ezenwa was called to action again in the 12th minute as he leapt to save a header from Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui off a corner.
The Super Eagles had their first chance on goal in the 19th minute through Victor Moses but he miscued his shot from the edge of the Cameroonian box.
The Super Eagles thought they had taken the lead on 24 minutes from Moses from a free-kick only for the assistant referee to flag for offside.
Moses went close again for the Eagles on 28 minutes but his header went just over the bar.
The Eagles eventually took the lead in the 29th minute through Ighalo ran on to Mikel’s pass out-muscled his marker before hitting a low left-foot shot into the low bottom left hand corner.
Moses Simon should have doubled Nigeria’s lead on 36 minute but Fabrice Ondoa palmed his goal bound strike away for a corner.
The Eagles did not wait long before they went 2-0 up in the 42nd minute thanks to Mikel who pounced on Moses’ corner.
Cameroon started on the front foot and almost scored a goal but Ezenwa went down quickly to stop a low shot from going in.
The Eagles made it 3-0 in the 55th minute through Moses off a counter who lashed on to Simon’s cutback.
Cameroon were forced into an early change in the 58th minute as Choupo-Moting who came on at the start of the second half went off with a hamstring.
In the 61st minute the Eagles made their first change as Ighalo went off injured and was replaced by Kelechi Iheanacho.
Cameroon almost sneaked a goal in the 64th minute but Ezenwa stopped the ball from going in.
Moses had a chance to extend Nigeria’s lead in the 67th minute but his curler went narrowly wide.
In the 68th minute Mikel was brought out for Mikel Agu.
The Super Eagles had a chance to score in the 73rd minute following a pass from Moses to Iheanacho who was stopped by a Cameroonian defender.
Iheanacho made it 4-0 to Nigeria in the 76th minute as he headed in a cross from the right by Onazi.
Cameroon almost scored from a free-kick on 82nd minute after Ezenwa failed to claim the high ball but the ball ended in goal kick.
A minute later the Eagles made their final change with Ahmed Musa replacing Moses.
Iheanacho almost scored his second goal but was stopped from getting a clean touch to a right cross.
In the 89th minute Onazi made a goal line clearance to prevent Cameroon from scoring from a corner.
Both teams will meet again in the reverse fixture in Yaoundé on Monday.