RUSSIA 2018: Nigeria zoom into 2018 World Cup after Iwobi’s strike drops Zambia, makes Nigeria first Africa to qualify


Victorious Eagles jubilating after victory.

*Jubilant President Buhari salutes great Super Eagles

Nigeria’s Super Eagles on Saturday finally make their way into the 2018 World Cup in Russian after Arsenal’s sensation, Alex Iwobi struck a brilliant goal in the 74th minute of the game.

Zambia had mounted pressures on Nigeria until Iwobi came in as a substitute in the second half to change the pace of the game.

The Arsenal striker who came on as a substitute came with the pace an brilliance the Eagles needed and he scored from a brilliant pass to settle the scores.

Iwobi profits from a moment of carelessness from the Chipolopolo backline to fire past Mweene.

In the 90th minute, Ola Aina and Victor Moses pull off a quick one-two just outside of the Zambia penalty area that sets up the latter to get a shot away, but just as he’s about to, he slips and goalkeeper Mweene makes a simple catch.

The Eagles now have 13 points while Zambia has seven points, making the last game a formality.

The Super Eagles thus become the first African side to qualify for Russia 2018, even with a game to spare.

…Jubilant President Buhari salutes Eagles

In the meantime, apparently jubilant President Muhammadu Buhari of the winning country, Nigeria, has congratulated the victorious Super Eagles on their victory Saturday over the Chipolopolo of Zambia at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

The President, who described the hard-earned victory as “very sweet, soothing and a 57th Independence Anniversary gift to the nation,” applauded the nation’s senior men’s football team for the feat of making Nigeria the first African country to qualify for Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament, with a match left to play.

He spoke through a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity (SAMP), Mr. Femi Adesina, which he issued in Abuja Saturday night, copy of which was obtained by The DEFENDER.

As he joined millions of football-loving Nigerians in rejoicing with the players and their coaching crew, according Femi Adesina, President Buhari called on all Nigerians to apply the values of perseverance, resilience, discipline, hard work and team-spirit which propelled the footballers to excel since the beginning of the qualifying matches, to all sectors of national life.

The statement read in parts: “The President promised that the Federal Government will continue to support the team within available resources so that the nation will maximise the unifying potentials of sports in general and football in particular.

“He enjoined the entire team and Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) officials to remain steadfast and focused when they begin preparations for the global football fiesta in order to make Nigeria proud.

“President Buhari urged public, private organisations and well-meaning Nigerians to continue to assist the Super Eagles as the team heads for a sixth appearance at the summit of football competition.

“The President also appreciated the government of Akwa Ibom State for the invaluable support it has been rendering to the football team, describing it as worthy of emulation.”

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