Nigeria book World Cup ticket
Posted: 16 November 2013 Time: 19:11
Nigeria have booked a place in next year's Fifa World Cup in Brazil after beating Ethiopia 2-0 (4-1 on aggregate) at the U. J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar on Saturday evening.
The goals were scored by Victor Moses and Obinna Nsofor.
Nigeria controlled the game from the opening minutes with Emmanuel Emenike and Victor Moses forcing Sisay Bancha to make a few saves inside the opening ten minutes.
The Super Eagles continued to threaten but failed to score, until Moses calmed the nerves of the yearning fans after putting Nigeria ahead from the spot in the 20th minute, after Aynalem Hailu was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the Ethiopian box.
Moses however picked up a yellow card for taking off his shirt while celebrating the goal.
Moses shot on target from outside the box on the half-hour mark, but Bancha blocked the shot into the path of an Ethiopian player who safely cleared the ball out for a corner-kick.
Nigeria came close to extending their lead from the ensuing cornerkick, but Brown Ideye could not keep his header on target.
Onazi tested Bancha with a shot from from of the box in the 42nd minute, but Ideye had little time to compose himself before blasting the rebound over the bar, as Nigeria held unto their slim lead going into the break.
Ethiopia resumed the second half with more determination, as they dominated possession in the opening minutes. The Walya Antelopes were however unable create any reasonable goalscoring chance.
Getaneh Kebede almost came into a one-on-one situation with Enyeama in the 54th minute, but former Enyimba goaltender rushed forward to gather the ball.
Kenneth Omeruo had to be substituted for Azubuike Egwuekwe in the 68th minute after picking up an injury, leaving Stephen Keshi to wonder if his decision to rush the youngster straight back into the starting line-up was a wise one.
Obinna Nsofor came on for Victor Moses in the 78th minute, and doubled Nigeria's lead with a direct freekick four minutes later, to seal Nigeria's qualification for next year's World Cup in Brazil with a 4-1 aggregate win.
Nigeria are the 22nd country to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.