The Super Eagles of Nigeria have their backs against the wall and must get victory of any shade against Swaziland this evening in their 2018 World Cup qualifying match.
The Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt will serve as the battle-field where the Eagles will hope to conquer their opponents after 90 minutes of action.
Already the gates of the stadium have been thrown open to encourage fans to fill the venue and cheer the Nigeria team to the much-desired victory.
Aside the assurances of having the crowd behind them, the Eagles have further been boosted with a $20,000 per goal promise made by the Rivers State Government.
With all that is in place will the Eagles get back on track for qualification for their sixth World Cup or will Swaziland follow through their ambition of recording one of the biggest upsets in African football in recent times?
Stay here for live updates of the Nigeria Vs Swaziland match.
Oliseh makes 3 changes
The Super Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh, has made three changes to the team that drew 0-0 in Swaziland. Sunshine stars’ Paul Onobi replaces Mikel Obi; Sharks’ Chima Akas comes in for Elderson Echiejile and error-prone Godfrey Oboabona is replaced by Austin Oboroakpo from Abia Warriors.
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Port Harcourt fans were lethargic throughout the match but poured into the pitch after the final whistle.
FULL TIME: Nigeria 2-0 Swaziland
The Super Eagles are $40,000 richer with a hope of making it to Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Swaziland sub, Sabelo booked a yellow for another dangerous tackle. The Swaziland side is really very rough.
A Swaziland Substitute, Dumlnai Phulmani, sent out with a red card after dangerously tackling Onazi, Nigeria’s assistant captain. Onazi was rolling on the turf after the tackle.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAL!!!! Efe Ambrose with a fantastic flip. Efe Ambrose killed the game after connecting a well taken free kick from Igbonu. Nigeria 2-0 Swaziland
Swaziland makes a great strike. A perfect save by Nigerian goalkeeper ensures Nigeria is in the game. The Nigerian defenders are moving too deep into the Swaziland area, leaving the goalkeeper exposed.
The introduction of Obafemi Martins has increased the tempo of the game, but he just handled the ball in the Swaziland 18 yard box at the nip of executing a great strike.
Moses Simon is down. He has been stretched out of the pitch and replaced by Ezekiel Bassey of Enyimba. Swaziland makes their final change too.
Nigeria makes first sub. Obafemi Martins in, Ahmed Musa in. Onazi takes the captain band.
Nigeria missing too many chances. Poor coordination up front even though the Nigerian side keep getting many opportunities to score. Sometimes, poor shooting, other times, poor passing in the 18 yard box.
Swaziland makes first change. Sabelo in for Zweli. One attacker for another attacker. Nigeria is yet to make a change but Obafemi Martins warming up on the side pitch.
Nigeria keeps pressuring to increase the tally but they really need to improve their targeting. Many shorts have gone off target. Nigeria needs to add to the goal tally to assure their victory. A dying minute draw will sink the Nigeria’s hope of reaching the World Cup finals.
Another yellow card for Nigeria as Efe Ambrose gets booked for pulling the jersey of a Swaziland player.
Sylvester Igboun gets the first yellow card of the match. Nigeria pressuring to increase the tally. So the Eagles have $20000 with the 51st minute free kick goal scored by Moses Simon
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAL!!! Moses Simon puts Nigeria ahead with a clean free kick.
Second half starts. Nigeria now playing from the right side of the pitch. The pressure is higher on the Nigerian side – Playing at home and being the bigger side. Nigeria started on a good note but Igboun scuffs the first chance in the second half.
End of first half. Nigeria 0-0 Swaziland.
First Half Analysis
With over 70% of ball possession, the Eagles did not create enough chances and sometimes took it too slow – a tempo which suited the defending of the visitors.
Sunday Oliseh needs to infuse some urgency into the play and that might mean bringing on a midfield player that will carry the ball into the last third. Paul Onobi was good in defensive midfield but Sylvester Igbonu has not been as dynamic as we know he can be. In whatever parlance – the Eagles just need goals!
The Swaziland goalkeeper is down, holding his right leg. He needs medical attention. Two minutes added to the first half.
The Eagles try to crank up the pressure and good combinations between Musa, Ighalo and Simon has created chances in the box but the Swazis have a massed defence and have cleared their lines very well. Another corner for Nigeria, taken by Ahmed Musa, no impact.
Nigeria seems to be rising back into the game and pushing harder for a goal. Ighalo was in the last minutes brought down in the Swaziland 18 yard box in an aerial ball struggle but the ref ruled ‘play on.’ Ighalo’s call for a penalty kick has been waved aside by the center referee as scores stands at 0–0
Swaziland’s closest golden opportunity to scoring, an open net, as the Super Eagles defence was caught flat-footed, was shot wide. No.19 misses the target in front of a gaping Nigeria net as a scoring chance was created from a deep free kick. The Eagles have to be careful
The Swazis have ensured that the tempo of the match is one they can cope with. Sunday Oliseh must find a way to quicken the pace at least in the final third. And with a fifth corner kick which Austin Oboroakpo headed wide. Odion Ighalo also had a sighter but he flashed his shot wide off the mark.
Ighalo has just wasted Nigeria’s best chance to move one goal up. A loop from the back, he let it bounce on the uneven pitch, then shots incorrectly. It was a clean chance wasted. Igbonu’s thunderous shot also narrowly missed a the goal post, seconds later.
The chances have been far and scarce for the Nigerian side. A fifth corner kick, taken by Ahmed Musa, is nodded over the bar.
Swaziland gets their first corner kick but it was poorly taken. Over the bar.
Ahmed Musa falls inside the Swaziland 18 yard box but the referee said ‘play on’. He received brief treatment and is up.
16:26 20mins gone.
The home side are yet to create gilt edged chances and Moses Simon had the first shot on target in the 11th minute. Carl Ikeme had his first touch of the ball on 17 minutes – which shows where the pressure has been. Four corner kicks for Nigeria so far and none for Swaziland
16:21 17 minutes gone. Goal line still 0-0. The biggest defeat for Swaziland has ever suffered is the 10-0 bashing by Egypt, two years ago. The Super Eagles does not look like they can be anywhere near such victory today. If this match ends this way, it will be decided by penalty kicks. A winner must leave this match for the group stage qualifiers for Russia 2018.
16:16 Moses Simon makes the first direct kick to the Swaziland post but the shot is stopped by the Swaziland goalkeeper. Fantastic save. Moses Simon’s kick is the first shot on target for the pressuring Nigerian side. Odion Ighalo has been guilty of extra touches that could have given Nigeria better chances this evening.
16:13 The Super Eagles have gotten their third corner kick in this match. The Swaziland side beginning to make mistakes. The last corner-kick was off the head of a Swaziland defender.
16:04 Match started. Nigeria started on a good note, got the first corner kick but it is nodded way too high for the goal post.
Nigeria is in green while the Swaziland side is in white and a patch of yellow on their shoulders.
15:10 Five minutes into the match, Nigeria keeping the dominance. Gotten their second corner kick and making efforts to find the back of the Swaziland net. But the Southern Africa side is putting up a good defence so far.
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