Nigeria’s Super Eagles have qualified for the quarter-finals for the African Nations Championship (CHAN) after coming from behind to defeat Equatorial Guinea 3-1 in their final group game on Tuesday.
Anthony Okpotu, Dayo Ojo and Rabiu Ali scored for the Nigerians as Salvador Nsi’s attempt only served as consolation for the Equatorial Guineans.
Nigeria head coach Salisu Yusuf made just a change to the team that defeated Libya 1-0 four days ago. Sunshine Stars midfielder Dayo Ojo started in place of Rabiu Ali.
Five players from Cano Sport FC dominated the Equatorial Guinean startlist with captain Cosme Ebang Ela being the only player in the 11 featuring in all previous 180 minutes.
It was a colourless performance from Nigeria especially who were tipped favourites to win the tie.
Five minutes to the break, Equatorial Guinea took the lead through Secundino Salvador Nsi who powered home a corner kick with his head from an unmarked position in the box.
Sunday Faleye had a chance to pull Nigeria level, the 3SC man smashed his attempt off target after Okpotu’s chest control teed him up.
Seven minutes into the restart, Emeka Ogbugh failed to score from close range as he could not connect his right foot well with the ball.
Okpotu then levelled matters for Nigeria. The Lobi Stars striker flung himself at Osas Okoro’s curling cross to head past Equatorial Guinea stopper Pascual Beka on 59 minutes.
Ten minutes later, Dayo Ojo’s pile driver put the Nigerians in the driving seat before substitute Ali converted from the spot on 83 minutes after Okpotu was judged by the referee to be fouled in Equatorial Guinea box.
The 3-1 win was enough for Nigeria to progress to the quarter-finals alongside Libya who defeated Rwanda by 1-0.
© The Predictor