Super Eagles of Nigeria Humiliate the Walya Antelope of Ethiopia
Before a capacity crowd that came to cheer them to victory, the Super Eagles of Nigeria trashed the hapless Ethiopians by 4-0 in a highly entertaining game played under flood-light. It was the first competitive game of the coach of Nigeria-Samson Siasia, who promised to string some new changes in the Super Eagles team.
Dele Aiyenugba started the game in place of injured Vincent Enyeama who has previously held tightly to the goalkeeper position in the last eight years. In defence was Chibuzor Okoronkwo, who was incidentally the only home-based player in the starting eleven. He was assisted by Captain Joseph Yobo, Taye Taiwo and Efe Ambrose superslot.
The midfield was anchored by Chelsea pearl- John Mikel Obi and Joel Obi who was making his full international debut. They were assisted on the right by Ahmed Musa and on the left by Obinna Nsofor, while the attack paraded Everton striker Victor Anichebe and Peter Utaka.
The game itself started on a slow pace and it came to life when enterprising Peter Utaka calmly slotted in a low cross from Victor Anichebe in the 35th minute of the all-important encounter. It was one of the fastest goals in the history of the African Cup of Nations qualifiers. The Ethiopians were caught napping by the early goal and had to rally back to restore parity. They were however denied that opportunity when Peter Utaka once again beat their offside trap and slotted in the second goal in the 35th minutes of the first half. Half time score stood at 2-0 despite efforts by the Ethiopians to pull one back.
The away team was paying dearly for their lack of experience, as they had only one foreign-based player who plies his trade in the South African Premier League. The second half started on a fast pace, with the Nigerians desperate to add to the three goal margin. Their intention became clear with the introduction of both Ikechukwu Uche and Osaze Odewengie in the 2nd half. The two changes turned the Eagles attack around, as a beautiful combination between the two substitutes saw Ikechukwu Uche banging in the third goal into an empty net, with the goalkeeper well beaten.
Coach Samson Siasia made some tactical changes, when he withdrew attacking midfielder- Joel Obi and in his place came in Kalu Uche. The Ethiopians at this stage of the game had given up all hopes of creating any possible upset, and their task was made worse just few minutes to the end of the energy-sapping encounter, when Real Zaragoza striker- Ikechukwu Uche picked up a stray ball from the center circle and dribbled his way into the Ethiopians half of the field before unleashing a ferocious shot which caught the keeper napping.
It was a wonder goal that brought the entire capacity crowd of the Abuja National stadium on their feet. The total annihilation of Walya Antelopes was coming just a day after the Nigeria Olympic team had drubbed their Equatorial Guinea counterpart by 5-0 at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, Southern Nigeria. The Super Eagles with this victory have accumulated a total of 6 points from three matches and are favorite to qualify from their group.