#WCQ2022: Nigeria beat Liberia in Morocco

#WCQ2022: Nigeria beat Liberia in Morocco

Two penalty goals, one in each half, gave Nigeria a 2-0 win over Liberia in their penultimate Group C game of the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers (WCQ2022) decided in Morocco on Saturday..

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) had deemed Liberia’s National Stadium, Monrovia unfit to host matches hence the Lone Star’s final two games were moved to the Grand Stade Tangier, Morocco.

In Saturday’s game, Nigeria went in front in the 15th minute from the penalty spot through Napoli striker Victor Osimhen who stroke the ball home emphatically after Liberian goalkeeper Boison de Souza had fouled Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho inside the box.

What followed after the goal was a spell of wayward, incoherent and perhaps boring way of playing football by Nigeria’s Super Eagles whose coach Gernot Rohr deployed a 3-5-2 formation for the game.

In it all though, Nigeria’s goalkeeper Maduka Okoye was barely tested by the Liberians especially in the second half and apart from Chidozie Awaziem’s long range effort which went over late in the second half, both teams just huffed and puffed like an array of caged lions in the Yankari Desert.

When it seemed as though the game would end in a 0-1 scoreline, Osimhen literally turned water to wine at the nick of time to draw another foul from Boison with Tunisian referee Youssef Essrayri pointing to the spot once again.

This time, captain Ahmed Musa who had spent just over three minutes on the pitch sent the goalkeeper the wrong way with the very last touch of the game, ensuring that Nigeria won all their away matches in the group stage of qualification for the 2022 tournament.

Nigeria now have to avoid defeat against Cape Verde on Tuesday in Lagos to guarantee themselves of a spot in the final playoff round of qualification. The Cape Verdians came from a goal down at half time to beat Central African Republic 2-1 in Mindelo.

Nigeria XI:

Okoye; Awaziem, Troost-Ekong, Balogun; Moses Simon, Ndidi, Aribo, Iwobi (C. Ejuke 61′), J. Collins; Iheanacho (A. Musa 87′), Osimhen.

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