The Super Eagles of Nigeria this evening (Saturday) did Nigerians proud as they beat their Congolese opponents at the Stade Municipal de Pointe Noire.
Coach Stephen Keshi named a rather strong side for the match with Vincent Enyeama in goal, Efe Ambrose at right-back, Juwon Oshaniwa in left back and a centre-back pairing of Azubike Egwuekwe and Godfrey Oboabona. In midfield, the trio of Hope Akpan, John Obi Mikel and Ogenyi Onazi stood still while Emmanuel Emenike, Ahmed Musa and Super Eagles returnee, Ikechukwu Uche led the attack.
The cohesion Nigerian soccer fans would have loved to see from the Super Eagles was missing in the first half as the Congolese looked more likely to grab a goal especially towards the end of the first half. That was not to be however as both teams went into the dressing room at half-time with the scores at 0-0.
Second half resumed and the Congolese kept on getting closer to scoring as they missed chance after chance but it was the Super Eagles who went ahead through Ikechukwu Uche from the penalty spot after Emmanuel Emenike had been fouled by the host team’s goalkeeper while he tried to control a pass from John Obi Mikel. The character of the Nigerian side was to be tested few minutes later when Congo was awarded a penalty of their own after the towering Egyptian referee adjudged that Godfrey Oboabana had handled a shot in the penalty box. Super Eagles captain, Vincent Enyeama proved why he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world when he punched away the penalty and Efe Ambrose cleared quickly.
After missing the penalty, the Congo side appeared to be bereft of confidence but still managed to threaten the Super Eagles as the game was coming to a close. Tempers flared in the Nigerian side as John Obi Mikel and Ogenyi Onazi had a short shouting match at each other. Aaron Samuel who had come in for Emmanuel Emenike and was making life difficult for the Congolese full backs eventually got the second goal for the Super Eagles with a beautiful effort. At this point, the Congolese home supporters began to leave the stadium in hundreds and threatened the peace at the stadium as they threw in objects on to the pitch. The game was suspended for about ten minutes as security officials tried to restore order.
The players were later called on to the pitch but the scores remained at 2-0 in favour of the Eagles as they saw off the game in an almost empty stadium.