Hungry Wild Beasts Devour Eagles In Lagos

Substitute Karl Namnganda’s 90th-minute goal put an end to the Super Eagles’ perfect start to their 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifying campaign as the Central African Republic beat Nigeria 1-0 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos to earn their first maximum points of Group C.

With the result, it’s the first time in 40 years that Nigeria lost a World Cup qualifying match at home, after the Eagles lost in Lagos to Algeria in the qualifiers for Espana’82 in 1981.

The result throws the group open after Cape Verde earlier in the day (Thursday) defeated Liberia 2-1 in their match-day three encounter at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra, Ghana. It’s also the Eagles first defeat at home in 14 games and second loss on Nigerian soil since Franco-German coach Gernot Rohr took charge five years ago.

The Eagles started the game slowly but gradually grew into the match but despite their star-studded line-up, they failed to create clear-cut chances, which allowed their less illustrious opponents gain momentum.

The visitors thought they had gone in front in the 31st minute but the referee rightfully called a foul after the CAR forward infringed Jamilu Collins on his way to putting the ball in the net.

There was an injury scare in the 33rd minute for striker Kelechi Iheanacho, who kicked the ball out. The Leicester City striker did not return for the second half as he was replaced by Union Berlin’s Taiwo Awoniyi.

Awoniyi almost got on the score sheet with his first attempt, but his six-yard attempt was blocked by an onrushing defender.

Goalkeeper Francis Uzoho ensured he kept the game goalless in the 65th minute when he showed good reflexes to deny Karl Namnganda from close range with his left leg.

Osimhen, who had worked hard, came close to grabbing the opener in the 66th minute after connecting with Ola Aina’s cross, but his header went wide.

The desperation on the side of the Eagles showed in the 70th minute when Balogun attempted a shot from over 30 yards but the ball went wide.

Namnganda would however not be denied in the 90th minute after benefitting from a defensive lapse from Balogun and William Troost-Ekong to coolly slot the ball past the on-rushing Uzoho as CAR’s reserve bench and coaching crew rushed onto the pitch to celebrate the goal, which gave them one of their biggest wins in the game.

The win sees CAR move to the third position on four points along with Cape Verde, while Liberia are bottom of the log with three points and Nigeria with six points from three games.

The Eagles will be hoping to bounce back to winning ways in the reverse fixture in Douala on Sunday.

-Punch

About Delia Innoma

Delia Innoma is a prolific writer, promoter, artist manager with full professional proficiency in English, German and Igbo languages. She studied accounting and computer programming at the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu and Germany respectively. Delia is also a devoted mother of two and she founded the Diamond Celebrities Magazine. Her sense of responsibility and commitment to the Christian faith are essential forces driving her daily activities.

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