The 15th meeting between Liberia and Nigeria took place in Morocco and was a topsy-turvy affair with no particular side able to assume control over long periods in the game but the Super Eagles took all three points and a step towards the next round with two goals scored from the penalty spot.
The first in the first half by Victor Osimhen and the second very late in the second half from substitute Ahmed Musa.
Coach Gernot Rohr recalled both Wilfred Ndidi and Alex Iwobi into his starting 11 after the duo missed the matches against C.A.R in October. The much-heralded return of Odion Ighalo did not result in inclusion in the matchday squad.
The Nigerians started better but the Liberians showed they are made of stern stuff by rebuffing their attacks and mounting some of their own.
The Eagles had better control of the game in the first minutes of the second half and had a scoring opportunity a minute after the interval but Moses Simon’s free-kick was tame and straight at the goalkeeper.
A mistake from William Troost-Ekong-Ekong in the 72nd minute almost afforded Liberia the chance of an equaliser but the Liberian attacker did not control the ball well and it ran harmlessly to Okoye.
Osimhen thought he had won a second penalty in the 81st minute when his left leg was clipped but the referee waved play on.
The Napoli forward was undaunted and duly won a second spot-kick in the 92nd minute after he was wrestled to the floor by the Liberian goalkeeper. Musa, who had come on for Iheanacho in the 86th minute steppe forward and converted.
The Eagles have 12 points and sit top of Group C, ahead of their next opponents, Cape Verde, who came from a goal down to beat C.A.R 2-1 and take their points tally to 10 and a shout of making it to the last round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers scheduled for March 2022. (Premium Times)