Nigeria’s Super Eagles on Sunday moved closer to getting a ticket to appear in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil as the team defeated the Antelopes of Ethiopia by 2 goals to 1 in Addis Ababa.
Emmanuel Emenike proved to be the hero of the day as his two goals won the match for the Eagles.
The Ethiopians dominated in the first half passing the ball well and making attempts at the Nigerian goal. One of such efforts by Said Saladin was cleared off the line by Godfrey Oboabona in the 24th minute. There were arguments as to whether the ball actually crossed the line or not as Saladin and his compatriots were already celebrating. Nigeria had a chance when a free kick was awarded in the 40th minute. Onazi however struck the ball too hard and sent it wide over the bar.
After a goalless first half, the Ethiopians drew the first blood in the 56th minute as While out to check a counter attack, Vincent Enyeama misjudged a lob by Behallu Assefa from the left flank which sailed over his head into the net. Enyeama caught the ball but it had already crossed the line.
The stadium suddenly went quiet after Emenike levelled for the Eagles in the 67th minute via a shot after holding the Ethiopian defence for a while. The equalizer seemed to renew the strength of the Nigerians as they gained more confidence.
The second goal came after Emenike was fouled in the penalty area by Hailu and he brilliantly converted the resultant spot kick in the 90th minute, sending the Ethiopian keeper the wrong way.
The second leg of the playoff takes place in Calabar in November