A largely second-string Super Eagles of Nigeria came from behind to defeat the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde 2-1 in a FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifier at the Estádio Municipal Adérito Sena on Tuesday.
Dylan Tavares scored the first goal of the game for the hosts in the 17th minute as he raced to the Nigerian defence goalline and whipped a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Maduka Okoye.
The Super Eagles subsequently increased their intensity and attack and were rewarded in the 30th minute after a Jamilu Collins cross from the left was deflected by a Cape Verde player to the path of Victor Osimhen, who poked the ball past the host’s goalkeeper.
Nigeria turned the game around in the 76th minute following another defensive error again. Kenny Rocha Santos played the ball into his team’s net after the goalkeeper had left his position.
The Super Eagles withstood the late pressure of the Blue Sharks to pick up the all-important three points on offer.
The win was an important one for the team considering that its core players – who are based in the United Kingdom – were ruled out due to COVID-19 restrictions as Cape Verde is on the red list of countries on Britain’s watchlist.
It was a memorable outing for Ahmed Musa who made his 100th appearance for the Super Eagles while Malmo’s Innocent Bonke and Bolgona’s Kingsley Michael were handed starting debuts.
This is the second consecutive win for the Super Eagles in the Group C qualification series, having defeated Liberia 2-0 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, on Friday.
Nigeria will shift their attention to next month’s double-header clash against CAR with the aim of extending their dominance in the group while Cape Verde have a date with Liberia in October.