Home » Latest » Nigeria 2 Ethiopia 0: Super Eagles book their World Cup place

A penalty from Liverpool’s Victor Moses and a stunning free-kick from Victor Obinna secured Nigeria’s place at the World Cup finals in Brazil at the expense of Ethiopia.

Leading 2-1 from the first leg, the Super Eagles became Africa’s first qualifiers with a comfortable win in Calabar on Saturday afternoon.

The decisive moment came after 19 minutes when Ethiopia defender Aynalem Hailu was adjudged to have handled in the box.

It was a little harsh, but Moses, at Anfield currently on loan from Chelsea, was unfazed as he sent goalkeeper Sisay Bancha the wrong way from the spot.

Moses has form against Ethiopia – he converted two penalties when the sides met at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year.

Despite a number of good chances, it took Nigeria until eight minutes from time to absolutely make sure when Lokomotiv Moscow frontman Obinna blasted in a swerving free-kick from 30 yards just seconds after coming on as a substitute for Moses.

The ball moved viciously in the air though Bancha will feel he should have blocked it.

Having seized the initiative late on in the first leg, thanks to an Emmanuel Emenike penalty, Nigeria continued the momentum in the early stages.

Fenerbahce man Emenike forced a good save from Bancha with a close-range shot inside the opening minutes, while Celtic defender Efe Ambrose fired high and wide from the edge of the penalty box.

Moses then put away his penalty, though he was booked for removing his shirt during the celebrations.

10 minutes later, Moses went close when his dipping 25-yard effort nearly deceived Bancha with a late bounce.

And on the half-hour, the hosts had a great chance to increase their aggregate advantage when Ideye Brown headed wide from all of six yards after Ogenyi Onazi crossed from the right wing.

Bancha was called upon again to stop a powerful drive from Onazi just before the break following a swift counter-attack. Brown couldn’t keep his shot down on the rebound.

The influential Onazi then slipped a ball through to Emenike but Bancha thwarted him in a one-on-one contest.

Ethiopia had further cause to feel annoyed when Omeruo, already booked in the first half, brought down Said Ahmed on the edge of the box. Referee Bakary Papa Gassama was unimpressed by the appeals.

To add further insult, Said was booked for simulation a few minutes later when collapsing in the Nigerian box.

Eventually, Obinna’s excellent free-kick meant the home crowd could relax and look forward to a fifth appearance at the World Cup finals.

Nigeria: Enyeama, Ambrose, Oboabona, Elderson, Omeruo (Egwueke 68), Brown (Mba 59), Moses (Obinna 79), Onazi, Mikel Obi, Musa, Emenike
Substitutes not used: Ejide, Reuben, Oduamadi, Ogu, Dike, Agbim, Okwuosa

Scorer: Moses 20 (penalty), Obinna 82
Booked: Moses, Omeruo

Ethiopia: Bancha, Girma, Abebaw, Bareghizo, Hailu, Minyahile (Fekadu 81), Bekele (Hintsa 75), Kebede (Assefa 60), Girma, Gubena, Said Ahmed
Substitutes not used: Debebe, Bogale, Biadigling, Tassew, Jemes, Tadese, Aspaw
Booked: Girma, Said Ahmed, Bareghizo

Referee: Bakary Papa Gassama (Gambia)

Source: Daily Mail

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