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World Cup qualifiers: Eagles grab second win against Cape Verde

World Cup qualifiers: Eagles grab second win against Cape Verde
September 07
19:33 2021

Super Eagles have continued their winning ways in the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers with a 2-1 victory over Cape Verde. 

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Nigeria had to come from a goal down to wrestle victory from the jaws of defeat in the match played in Mindelo on Tuesday.

Gernot Rohr was forced to make seven changes to the line-up that began the 2-0 victory over Liberia on Friday due to the departure of the UK-based players over COVID-19 restrictions.

Innocent Bonnke and Kingsley Michael were handed their debuts for the Eagles, while Shehu Abdullahi, Kenneth Omeruo and Chidozie Awaziem got the nod in the defence.

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Ahmed Musa was handed a start as Chidera Ejuke took the left-wing.

Rohr had earlier predicted that the game will be difficulty for his boys, and it proved just so as the opposition took advantage of their familiarity to the synthetic turf of the Estádio Municipal Adérito Sena.

The home team raced to the lead in the 19th minute. A cross-field pass flew over the unsettled Eagles’ defence and found an unmarked Dylan Taveres who swept the ball beyond the flailing limbs of Maduka Okoye into the net.

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In response, the Eagles gathered themselves and intensified their effectiveness in attack.

In the 26th minute, Ejuke forced Josimar Dias, Cape Verde goalkeeper, to make a stunning save off his intense shot straight down the middle.

However, Dias could only watch as a defensive blip off a Jamilu Collins’s squared cross allowed an alert Victor Osimhen stab in the equalizer.

Rohr dialled up the intensity in the second half by replacing Moses Simon and Musa with Terem Moffi and Henry Onyekuru, respectively.

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The changes bore fruit almost instantly when Onyekuru’s hassling forced Kenny Santos to opt for a long back pass without checking the position of Dias.

He sent the ball flying above the goalkeeper, who could only reach it after it has passed the touchline.

The result places Nigeria atop group C with six points and poised for a ticket into the third round of the qualifiers.

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