Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi scored the winner as Nigeria claimed a 1-0 victory over Zambia to qualify for the 2018 FIFA WorldCup in Russia.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles went into the game needing a win over the Zambians whom they beat in Zambia to qualify for the word cup but met with a resolute youthful Zambian side
Odion Ighalo missed an open net when fed with a delightful cross from Chelsea ace Victor Moses with the former Watford man needing only to connect
Zambia also went close with a shot in the that Nigerian goalie Ikechukwu Ezenwa had to force onto the post
Nigerian vice captian Ogneyi Onazi was forced off in the 30th minute with what looked like a hamstring injury and had to be replaced with Mikel Agu
In a very tough game in which the Zambians gave as good as they got Nigerian Coach Gernot Rohr turned to the African youngster and brought on Iwobi in the 65th minute in place of Moses Simon
The introduction of the Arsenal man had an immediate impact as the Nigerian team began to play more fluidly making more forays into the Zambian half
9 minutes after coming on Iwobi made the difference placing the ball past the Zambian defence and Kennedy Mweene in goal for Zambia of an assist from the resolute Shehu Abdulahhi
Iwobi almost created another goal when he drifted down the right again sending in a precise cross into the 18 but no one was there to connect
The 20 year old only recently scored for his English premier league side Arsenal on Nigeria’s independence day
Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger had said about Iwobi after the game “He’s the kind of player who has a good availability. What we want from him is final balls and goals as well.”
Hull Citys Chelsea Loanee Ola Aina was brought on in place of crocked Uwa Echijile in the for what was his make his competitive debut for the Super Eagles.
With the victory Nigeria qualify for their 6th world cup with an unassailable 13 points while Zambia stayed on second with 7 points makig the last group matches a mere formalty