The Super Eagles of Nigeria on Tuesday defeated the Crocodiles of Lesotho 3-0 in their final 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
Goals from Victor Osimhen, Oghenekaro Etebo and Paul Onuachu gave Gernot Rohr’s team the maximum points from this fixture, which marked the team’s return to Lagos State for a competitive fixture in over a decade.
The Super Eagles dominated the game from the very start and opened scoring in the 23rd minute when a carefully weighted long pass by Kelechi Iheanacho found Osihmen, who showed the poacher that he is as he smartly poked the ball past the Benin goalkeeper, Sekhoane Moerane.
The visitors did not have many chances in the first half but one of their attackers attempted to catch returning goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho off guard as he fired a long-range shot, but Uzoho tipped it over the crossbar.
The Super Eagles began the second half where they ended in the first 45 minutes and were rewarded with a second goal five minutes after the restart as Osimhen turned provider by laying a pass to the onrushing Etebo, who scuffed his shot but was enough to get past Moerane.
Coach Rohr subsequently made a flurry of changes and two substitutes combined to register the team’s third goal in the 83rd minute.
Attacking with vibrancy, Henry Onyekuru provided a bumping pass in the box to Onuachu, who blasted a powerful side-footed shot past Moerane to score his second goal for the team in two games. The in-form Genk striker earlier scored the winner for Nigeria against Benin Republic last Saturday.
The result means that the Super Eagles finished the qualifiers as winners of Group L. It also means that the team was undefeated throughout the qualifiers as they now turn their focus for the competition proper in Cameroon.
But before the AFCON, the team will begin its journey towards qualification for the 2022 World Cup in June.