Lolade Adewuyi (Goal.com)
Nigeria defeated Rwanda 2-0 in Calabar on Saturday to move into the final round of qualifying for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
Ikechukwu Uche and Ahmed Musa scored the goals for Stephen Keshi’s side in both halves of the encounter.
The Super Eagles started the game against the Amavubi with six home-based players. Uche Kalu came on for Victor Moses and Ahmed Musa also replaced John Utaka on the left wing.
Those changes seemed to have paid immediate dividends as Musa’s corner kick in the ninth minute was nodded on by Egwueke and Ikechukwu Uche flashed in an unstoppable shot. After that the Eagles were laboured in their build up though they had some other scoring chances.
With the nuance being shooting from distance but most of the shooting was wayward. Gabriel Reuben seemed to be on a mission to add to the goal he scored last week in Blantyre against Malawi and he went closest to adding to his tally in the 16th minute when his bicycle kick was saved for a corner kick by goalkeepr Jean-Claude Ndoli.
The Eagles played better than Rwanda but near the Rwandan box were too cautious and hurried in getting in the last ball.
The second half was almost a carbon copy of the first with the Eagles on the front foot. Ejike Uzoenyi was buzzing around but the last pass for the strikers was just lacking. The Eagles got the second goal in the 56th minute through an Ahmed Musa left footed shot from outside the box. He was assisted in that goal by Uche Kalu, who had a wonderful game until he was substituted in the 84th minute by Omatsone Aluko.
Uzoenyi hit the side netting in the 72nd minute but it was all about winding down the clock after the second goal. The Eagles at the end qualify for the next round of qualifiers for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Cup to be hosted in South Africa.