The Super Eagles came from a goal down to beat Equatorial Guinea 3-1 in a 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan) Group C clash at the Stade Adrar in Agadir, Morocco on Tuesday evening.
Victory for Nigeria sealed their place in the knockout stages as group winners with goals from Anthony Okpotu, Ekundayo Ojo and Rabiu Ali condemning Nzalang Nacional to a third straight defeat.
Libya join the Super Eagles in the quarterfinals of the continental competition following their 1-0 win over Rwanda at the same time.
Nigeria made all the early moves as they went in search of an early goal in Agadir, but it would be Equatorial Guinea to hit the front against the run of play in the 40th minute of the match.
Nsi Eyama Salvador, who is only 17-year’s-old, on hand to power home an unstoppable header from a corner-kick to give Equatorial Guinea a surprise lead.
Nigeria, though, should’ve leveled matters soon after, but Sunday Faleye failed to hit the target with the goal at his mercy as the Super Eagles headed for the tunnel at the break with their progress in the tournament in doubt.
The Super Eagles finally found the equalizer in the 59th minute following a sustained spell of pressure. Anthony Okpotu making no mistake from close range as he guided a thunderous header into the roof of the net to send the Nigerian fans into delirium.
The West African’s hit the front 10 minutes later as Ojo hammered home a long range bullet. Equatorial Guinea shot-stopper Beka Elibiyo was left with little chance as the midfielder’s attempt rifled into the back of the net from distance.
Nigeria made sure of the result with 83 minutes on the clock as Ali converted from the spot following a foul in the area.
Next up for the Super Eagles is a clash against the Group D runner-up with Angola, Congo and Burkina Faso all still in the running for a place in the knockout stages.
Equatorial Guinea (1) 1 (Salvador 40′)
Nigeria (0) 3 (Okpotu 59′ Ojo 69′ Ali 83′)
Equatorial Guinea: Pascuel Elibiyo, Ondo, Atom (Akapo 66′), Anvene, Ernesto Montero, Maye (Marcos Nve 83′), Eworo, Pio Eko, Basilio, Eneme (Ekuaga 78′), Nsi Eyama Salvador.
Nigeria: Ezenwa; Osas Okoro, Eze, Okogbue, Daniel James, Ojo, Atuloma, Ifeanyi (Ali 62′), Okpotu (Gabriel 84′), Ogbugh (Nur 76′), Faleye. Backpage TXT