Nigeria becomes the first African country to book their place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be played in Russia.
The Super Eagles beat Zambia 1-0 in the southern coastal town of Akwa Ibom.
A goal in the second half by Alex Iwobi saw the 2013 African champions qualify for Russia and now in good stead to compete against the world’s best at the mundial.
The win was Nigeria’s fourth victory in five Group B matches, and Gernot Rohr’s men will be looking forward to Russia 2018.
Nigeria also becomes the twelfth (12) nation to qualify for the World Cup which means only 20 spots are remaining.
Hosts Russia, Brazil, Iran, Japan,Mexico, Belgium, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia, Germany, England and Spain are the other eleven (11) sides to have booked their place.
This is the sixth time Nigeria will qualify for the FIFA senior World since making her debut at the USA 1994 edition where the country made it to the second round before being ousted by Italy.
Nigeria also qualified for the 1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014 editions.
|African WC Qualifying Group B:||Played||Points|
|1. Nigeria – Qualified||5||13|
How Super Eagles Overcame Chipolopolo
Gernot Rohr maintained the starting eleven that played against Cameroon in September.
The German started Ikechukwu Ezenwa in goal, Elderson Echiejile, Abdullahi, Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong in defence.
Wilfred Ndidi and Ogenyi Onazi were in defensive midfield while Moses, Mikel and Moses Simon supported Ighalo in the attack.
It was a tough and tense match which could have gone either way as both teams battled for maximum points.
The Eagles started the stronger and should have opened the scoring in the 17th minute.
Simon played a low cross from the right flank, but it just evaded Ighalo.
The hosts suffered an early injury blow when Onazi picked up a knock and was replace by Mikel Agu, who promptly got himself booked 10 minutes later.
Chances were missed at both ends.
John Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and Moses Simon went close for the Super Eagles but failed to score.
Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mwenne produced an acrobatic save to deny Wilfred Ndidi in the second half in a pulsating end-to-end encounter.
Augustine Mulenga thought he had put Zambia ahead in the 22nd minute, but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Fashion Sakala, Alex Ng’onga and Enock Mwepu had chances for the Chipolopolo but the 2012 African Champions failed to punish a perplexed Super Eagles defence.
But substitute Iwobi, who had scored in the reverse fixture in Ndola last October, finished off a decent attack to send Nigeria to a third straight World Cup appearance.
Moses had a great opportunity to add a second towards the end, but the Chelsea wing-back slipped inside the box.
Nigeria stay top in Group B with 13 points, while second-placed Zambia are on seven points.
Cameroon are on six points after defeating Algeria 2-0 at home with goals from Clinton Njie and Franck Tchidjui Pangop.
A Dream Come True…We're Heading To The World Cup 🙌🏽.Nice To Get The Winning Goal, Massive Thanks To Our Fans.The Atmosphere Was Crazy 🇳🇬🦅 pic.twitter.com/Ke3y6WjYPh
— Alexander Iwobi (@alexiwobi) October 7, 2017
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