Nigeria continued their quest to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with a 3-1 win over Algeria, at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Victor Moses scored twice for the Super Eagles, while John Mikel Obi also found the back of the net.
The North Africans grabbed what proved to be a consolation through Nabil Bentaleb. But what else did we learn?
Moses saves his people
Victor Moses was Man of the Match by a mile. The Chelsea man has been reinvented by Antonio Conte as a right wingback this season and his improvement was evident today at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium. He opened scoring in the first half and calmed the nerves of millions with a composed finish to settle the game.
Mahrez still blowing hot and cold
We are still waiting for the Riyad Mahrez, who left defenders hypnotized last season, as Leicester City won their first ever Premier League title. He was anonymous in the first half and only showed glimpses of his happy feet in the second half. However, it was Nabil Bentaleb’s exquisite strike that brought Algeria back into the match.
Of first choices and deputies
Daniel Akpeyi was selected ahead of Dele Alampasu and Ikechukwu Ezenwa in Carl Ikeme’s absence. He could do nothing about Bentaleb’s cracker and although he did not perform too shabbily, Akpeyi did not inspire confidence. Gernot Rohr picked Kelechi Iheanacho as his striker, with Odion Ighalo and Brown Ideye on the bench. The Manchester City was not at his influential best and did not hold the ball up well.
They’re still roaring under Rohr
The German is yet to lose a game as Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles. But that does not say it all. The team has looked much better on the ball and the pieces are falling in place nicely.
Russia, is that you?
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But Nigeria are looking good for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. After Match Day 2, the former African champions lead the group with six points. Cameroon are second with two points, while Algeria and Zambia both have one point each. The double header against Cameroon will be key. If Rohr’s men manage to get four points, then it’s hello Russia!
‘Ifreke Inyang tweets via @Ifreke