Nigeria have booked a place in the COPA Coca-Cola African Cup quarter-final following a 3-0 win over Zimbabwe in a Group B match played on Wednesday.
Goals from Chukwuemeka Prosper, Gift Williams and Lekan Omodara were all the Nigerians needed brush aside the southern African side at Nakuru High School in Kenya.
On the heels of their defeat to Zambia in their last outing, Nigeria came into the clash with a dire need to win against the struggling Zimbabweans.
Gilbert Igwe’s side always appeared a class above and left the southern Africans stunned by their silky play as Bernard Matenga’s boys surrendered to their passing abilities.
Zimbabwe could not create much going forward with attackers Kawere Trymore and Muzengeza Keith failing in their bid to Nigeria defense.
The southern Africans improved late in the match but the points had already been secured by Nigeria Prosper, Williams and Omodara.
"I am happy that we have qualified today but we have to improve because we are heading to the knockouts. We have to do better in defending, midfield and even in the attack in our next game, we were not at our best,” said coach Igwe after the clash.
In his our assessment of the game, coach Matenga claimed Nigeria were the better side, thus deserved to win.
"We lost to a better team. Nigeria was the better side and congratulations to them, they deserved to win,” said Matenga.
“These boys are very young and I believe such a tournament will help shape their careers as footballers. I thank Coca-Cola for organizing this tournament and urge them to continue with the same spirit.”
Nigeria face South Africa for a place in the last eight of the competition.