The Nigerian Super Eagles beat an early Cape Verde scare on Tuesday to continue their dominance of Group C Africa Zone of the 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers.
Possibly buoyed by a passionate dawn pep-talk by Air Peace’s Chairman, Allen Onyema, the Nigerian male football team in Mindelo beat hosts Cape Verde 2-1.
The game on Match Day 2 fixture at the Estádio Municipal Adérito Sena, had barely gone 20 minutes when Super Eagles fell behind through a left-footed scorcher by Cape Verde’s Dylan Tavares who beat an offside trap set to slam past goalie, Maduka Okoye.
Five minutes later, the Blue Sharks confident from their early stunner, tried to emphasise their all-business form when Ryan Mendes tried to beat Nigeria’s goalkeeper but his shot went off target.
From then it was the Super Eagles shaking off the shock to take over business, with Chidera Ejuke and Victor Osimhen marauding the Cape Verde defence.
Their efforts at an equaliser paid off in the 29th minute when the Osimhen forced Cape Verde’s goalie, Vozinha to parry the ball, only to concede on the rebound.
The resumption of the game saw the Super Eagles foraying severally into Blue Sharks waters.
In the 70th minute, Nigeria’s Manager, Gernot Rohr, made a tactical change with Henry Onyekuru and Terem Moffi replacing Simon and Musa respectively.
Onyekuru’s introduction helped increase the Eagles swoop on the Blue Sharks and after a feeble attempt by the goal poacher, forced a defensive error when Kenny Rocha Santos played the ball into an empty net after Vozinha had left his position.
Cape Verde were not daunted. With three minutes to go, Vagner Dias nearly got his country back when his header went slightly off target.
The Super Eagles’ next match in the qualifiers comes up in October against the Central African Republic (CAR).
Earlier, as the Super Eagles boarded their Air Peace flight on their way to the match in Cape Verde, they were pepped up by the airline’s CEO, Allen Onyema who promised them a N20million cash gift if they won.
By this victory, the boys are N20million richer.