Two first half goals and a second half penalty saw Nigeria Super Eagles beat Seychelles 3-0 in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier decided at the Stade Linité in Victoria on Saturday.
Captain Ahmed Musa’s ferocious effort ricocheted home off Seychellois goalkeeper Jerome Dingwall to give Nigeria a fifteenth minute lead before defender Chidozie Awaziem, starting for the first time since November 2017 doubled the advantage when he slotted home a rebound after Kelechi Iheanacho’s free kick came off the post.
Striker Odion Ighalo then scored from the penalty spot just before the hour mark after Bordeaux winger Samuel Kalu was tripped inside the penalty box. It was Ighalo’s first goal for Nigeria since a 4-0 win over Cameroon in September 2017.
The game was decided on a sore artificial surface in the Mahe Islands and duly claimed its casualty in the second half when Awaziem was stretchered off. Rotherham United’s Semi Ajayi replaced the FC Porto defender for his national team debut.
The victory regardless, Nigeria remain in third spot in Group E with three points after Libya held South Africa to a 0-0 draw in Durban, also on Saturday.
The Libyans remain top of the group with four points and a healthy goal difference with which they are leading the Bafana Bafana who also have four points after beating Nigeria in the first group game.
The next round of matches will hold in October with Nigeria and Libya engaged in a double header within four days, first in Nigeria on the 10th before both teams meet again in Tunis on the 13th of October, 2018.