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1 vs 0
Played
June 3, 2012 4:00 PM BST
U.J. Esuene Stadium — Calabar
Referee:‬ Khalid Abdul Rahman‎
Attendance:‬ 10000‎
 
80′ Uche
 
Top of the Match
?
To Be Announced Shortly
Uche
Uche
Nigeria
Flop of the Match
?
To Be Announced Shortly

Nigeria 1-0 Namibia: Ikechukwu Uche’s late effort gives Super Eagles confident start

The Super Eagles were helped by a goal from the Granada striker during a game that saw them miss many chances to score

By Lolade Adewuyi

Nigeria's Ikechukwu Uche
Getty Images

Nigeria defeated Namibia by a lone goal in Calabar on Sunday to open their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign in Group F on a good note.

Granada’s Ikechukwu Uche scored the lone goal inside the packed U.J Esuene Stadium. Nigeria used the opportunity to honour late legend Rashidi Yekini, who died in May, by observing a minute of silence.

The hosts started with a great deal of confidence early on with the trio of forwards Uche, Victor Moses and John Utaka troubling the visitors.

It was Uche’s third minute shot on goal that set the tone for the encounter after he profited from a bad clearance in the Namibian defence. His shot was kept safe by goalkeeper Virgil Vries who was making his fifth appearance for the Brave Warriors.

Uche had another opportunity to score as he saw his scissors kick cleared off the line 15 minutes on. The Nigerians looked as though they were going to have a field day against the Namibians but were unable to convert their chances.

In trying something different, Moses went for a fall in the Namibian box as calls for a penalty were waved away by referee Khalid Abdul Rahman.

The young Wigan forward was later to suffer a kick on the back that was rightly punished by the referee as  a foul.

Nigeria’s midfield tried to assert itself as the game wore on when Nwankwo Obiorah shot just wide. It was not one way traffic though as the Brave Warriors won a ball in their half and moved on to penetrate the Super Eagles, winning a corner kick in the process.

Having cleared their lines, Nigeria moved forward and won a free kick through Utaka. The resultant short pass found Uche who waltzed his way through the defence but shot just above the cross bar.

The Nigerians would miss another chance through Uche on the half hour mark as he shot low to the left of Vries. A minute later, Uche again saw his close header kept firmly by Vries as the first period ran out.

The second half started with the same vigour from the Nigerians but Uche could not covert the opportunities that came his way. They did not lack enthusiasm but were unlucky not to finish.

A goalmouth scramble early on showed the frustration of the Eagles who were cheered on by the local crowd.

Stephen Keshi made a change by taking off Utaka for Ahmed Musa, and he immediately proved useful as he had a header scrape off the crossbar.

Nerves began to show as the clock wore down and the spectators called for at least one goal from the team. The young Namibians did not look perturbed as they held on. Lone striker Tangeni Shipahu had an opportunity to run against the Nigerian defence but was cut out before he could shoot on Enyeama’s goal.

Minutes later, Uche then saved the Nigerians’ blushes when he scored from inside the box after he received a cross from Musa on the left to shimmy a defender and shoot low past Vries.

The Nigerians then held on to secure their first three points and lead the group ahead of Kenya and Malawi who played out a goalless draw in Nairobi on Saturday.

Nigeria will next go to Blantyre to face Malawi on June 8 while Namibia will host Kenya in Group F.



Nigeria

1
Vincent Enyeama
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
 - 
15
E. Ambrose
Defender
89′
 - 
2
 - 
-
Juwon Oshaniwa
Defender
 - 
-
E. Uzoenyi
Striker
 - 
-
Reuben Gabriel
Midfielder
 - 
12
Victor Moses
Midfielder
79′
 - 
-
Nwankwo Obiorah
Midfielder
68′
 - 
15
Uche
Striker
80′
 - 
99
John Utaka
Striker
60′
 - 

Namibia

 - 
-
Virgil Vries
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
-
Larry Horaeb
Midfielder
42′
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
9

Substitutes

16
Austin Ejide
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
Chigozie Agbim
Goalkeeper
 - 
4
 - 
-
Papa Idris
Defender
 - 
21
 - 
13
Fegor Ogude
Midfielder
 - 
18
Henry Uche
Midfielder
68′
 - 
-
Sunday Mba
Midfielder
 - 
24
Sone Aluko
Striker
 - 
23
 - 
-
 - 
-
Kalu Uche
Striker
79′
 - 
-
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
-
 - 
-
Athiel Mbaha
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
Arnold Subeb
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
 - 
-
Hendrik Somaeb
Midfielder
75′
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
25

Coach/Manager

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
Matchday 1
Times In BST
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Mohammed Abu Trika Mohammed Abu Trika
Midfielder
Al-Ahly
6 4
Papiss Cissé Papiss Cissé
Striker
Newcastle United
6 1
Asamoah Gyan Asamoah Gyan
Striker
Al Ain
6 0
Mohamed Salah Mohamed Salah
Midfielder
Chelsea
6 0
Juvenal Juvenal
Midfielder
5 2