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Iwobi fires Super Eagles to Russia 2018 World Cup

A second-half goal from Arsenal FC of England forward, Alex Iwobi was enough to earn Nigeria a ticket to next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.

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The forward slotted home on the 74th minute from Shehu Abdullahi’s cross to send the crowd into celebration.

With the win, the Eagles now sit comfortably at the top of Group B table with 13 points from five matches while still having a game to spare.

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Zambia are on seven points and their hope of reaching the World Cup finals has now been dashed.

The Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr was cautious with his selection, ensuring balance in the team notwithstanding the array of attacking talents available to him.

The home side started well as they enjoyed the supports of fans who filled the 30,000 capacity Godswill Akpabio Stadium to the brim.

However, it was the Zambians who first made an approach to the goal area after winning the first corner kick of the match.

In the early part of the first-half, Ekong William made a poor pass outside his own goal area to gift the visitors another chance to test Ikechukwu Kennedy but Alex Ngonga shot wide.

In the 18th minute, Simon Moses drove through the right channel before laying a cross into the box but the onrushing Mikel Obi was unable to connect the ball into the net.

Nigeria’s Ogenyi Onazi was substituted for Mikel Agu in the 29th minute after sustaining an injury.

One minute later, the enterprising Simon Moses dances his way into the opposition’s box before hitting a shot which Zambian Goalkeeper Kennedy Nweene easily collected.

On the 31st minute, a mistake again by Ekong gifted Ngonga at the edge of the box but the forward hit his shot wide.

It was the forward again in the 36th who tried to put his side ahead when he hit a shot that Ezenwa was only able to parry out via the goalpost.

The Eagles responded in the later part of the first half with several attempts on goal but both Simon Moses and Ighalo hit their shots wide.

The second half was not different with the visitors enjoying more possession in the midfield.

However, the introduction of Iwobi turned the game around as the Arsenal star added some urgency to the Eagles’ play with his speed and movement.

His introduction paid off when he fired home from Shehu’s cross the earn Nigeria the much needed victory.

Coach Rohr commended his players for taking all three points on the table.

He said the team will commence preparations for the World Cup immediately.

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