By Nnamdi Ezekute in Russia:
The Super Eagles of Nigeria picked their first win of the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup after beating Iceland 2-0 in their second Group D game in Volgograd on Friday.
A second half brace from Ahmed Musa reignited the Super Eagles’ campaign following their opening day loss to Croatia.
Musa’s goals made him the first Nigerian to score at two FIFA World Cups after scoring a brace against Argentina in a 3-2 loss at the 2014 World Cup.
The Leicester City star is now Nigeria’s World Cup top scorer with four goals in the competition.
The first half was all Iceland as they created most of the scoring chances, going close on six occasions while the Super Eagles held more of the possession edging it 60 per cent to Iceland’s 40 without any shot on or off target.
The Super Eagles became the first team to not have a single shot in the first half of a World Cup game since South Korea versus Algeria in 2014.
It was a different Super Eagles that emerged for the second half as they pressed Iceland back and were rewarded with Musa’s goals.
Iceland almost pulled themselves back into the game following a foul by Tyrone Ebuehi. The decision was not initially given but after the referee consulted the Video Assistance Referee, he finally gave the penalty which Gylfi Sigurdsson missed.
The Super Eagles are now second in Group D on three points while Iceland are third with just one point.
Francis Uzoho made the game’s first big save on three minutes as he punched away Gylfi Sigurdsson’s dangerous free-kick which went over the Super Eagles defensive wall for a corner.
Sigurdsson went close again on six minutes following a break away by Iceland but his attempted curler was well saved by Uzoho.
Iceland went close on 36 minutes but Leon Balogun made a timely headed clearance from a dangerous right cross.
Iceland continued to go close with scoring chances and were almost rewarded on the stroke of half-time but Alfred Finnbogasson could not get a good touch on Sigurdsson’s dangerous set pieces.
The Super Eagles made a change with Tyrone Ebuehi replacing Bryan Idowu.
Just one minute into the second half the Super Eagles had their first shot on target through Oghenekaro Etebo whose mazy run and low shot was well saved by Hannes Halldorsson in goal for Iceland.
The Super Eagles eventually broke the deadlock on 49 minutes thanks to Musa who delightfully brought down Victor Moses’ cross and blasted it into the roof of the net.
In the 58th minute, Ndidi almost doubled Nigeria’s lead with a long range shot which was tipped over the bar by the Iceland keeper.
The Eagles continued to break forward and should have extended their lead on 66 but Kelechi Iheanacho could not keep his shot low which went over the bar.
Leon Balogun should have extended the Super Eagles’ lead on 72 minutes after connecting with a superb header which went just over the bar.
Musa had a chance to grabbing his second but saw his effort hit the cross bar.
He eventually made it 2-0 for the Super Eagles as he raced to a long pass, outpaced his marker, went the past the keeper before coolly slotting into the net.
Iceland had a lifeline on 83 minutes from the penalty spot but Sigurdsson shot his effort over the bar following a foul by Ebuehi.
Uzoho was called into action on 88 minutes as he made a point-blank save to keep the scoreline 2-0.
Up next for the Super Eagles is a clash against Argentina in Saint Petersburg on June 26 while Iceland will square off against leaders Croatia.