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Irresistible Iheanacho puts Liberia to the sword to help Super Eagles win in Lagos

Two goals from Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho was all Nigeria needed in their 2-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying opener against Liberia as the Super Eagles scored a morale boosting victory at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on Friday. Liberia looked capable at times and the Nigerian performance was not comprehensive, but the Lone Star will need to go back to the drawing board for when they take on Central African Republic in their next encounter. Group C appears to be Nigeria’s to lose and the win will build confidence heading into their next match on the road against next likely contenders Cape Verde.

Liberia were unafraid to try and make an impression on the attack and their performance on the road was valiant. European based midfielders Allen Njie and Oscar Dorley brought quality to the Lone Star buildup and helped generate a few chances. However, a couple of moments when the visitors lost their focus on the defensive end were responsible for the defeat.

Nigeria’s opening goal came in the 22nd minute from a set piece. A short corner to Iheanacho allowed the forward to advance towards the Liberian goal and he unleashed a rocket of a shot that was too much for Liberia keeper Ashley Williams, with the ball speeding inside the near post to give the Super Eagles the lead.

Iheanacho’s finish right at the end of the first half was what deflated the Liberian resistance and put Nigeria beyond reach. A long throw from left back Jamilu Collins was allowed to bounce in the penalty area by the Liberian defense. Alex Iwobi jumped up and headed the ball in the direction of Iheanacho, who cushioned the ball over to his right foot with a sublime first touch before applying a low finish inside the far post.

The Super Eagles were content to ride out the second half without venturing forward too often, and Liberia did not quite have the quality going forward to get themselves back into the match. Highlights of the match are in the link below.

FIFA TV Highlights

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