The match played at Akwa Ibom International stadium in Uyo was a must win for Nigeria, especially for Genort Rohr, the new Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles.
Nigeria’s Star-stud line up – Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City), Mikel Obi(Chelsea), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Odion Ighalo (Watford), and Ahmed Musa (Leicester City). Turkey-based Musa Mohammed will make his official Eagles debut, while Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme featured for the Eagles.
The Manchester City forward’s brilliant strike handed coach Gernot Rohr a winning start in charge of the Super Eagles against the Taifa Stars. Gernot Rohr claimed his first win as Nigeria coach as the team saw off Tanzania 1-0 in Saturday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
Kelechi Iheanacho’s lone strike was all the hosts needed to see off the strong-willed Taifa Stars who came to Uyo with the ambition of defeating the Super Eagles. The visitors posted some threats inside the Nigeria’s half in the opening five minutes, but Rohr’s team reclaimed possession and dictated the pace of the game.
The Super Eagles during all encounters with the Tafia Stars of Tanzania have never lost a match, thus the Nigerian team had a reputation to keep during the final 2017 Africa Cup of nations qualifiers.
Nigeria’s attempt at goal in first, with a free kick after a Tanzania defender handles the ball on top of his box, but Victor Moses’ effort misses the target. With renewed Nigeria’s attacking initiative , but Musa Mohammed’s cross from the right fails to get the needed connection. Header by Mikel off a Musa Mohammed cross is off target.
A commentator remarked that though the Super Eagles have been the better side of the two teams they need to translate dominance to goals. Approaching the half-hour mark and still goalless in Uyo. Ahmed Musa tries a shot at the Tanzania goal, but his effort is wide off the target!
Naturally, the Nigerian supporters will boo when not satisfied with play and will cheer when thoroughly entertained, so it came as no suprise when they started singing “All we are saying give us one goal.” Mikel tried a shot but keeper saves it. Mikel, the Star of the Rio Olympics Bronze medal goes out for Wilfred Ndidi.
Breakthrough came in in the 77th minute, Kelechi Iheanacho takes shot from 25 yards hits the upright and into the net. Nigeria unable to add to the tally as the assistant referee raises the board up for three minutes additional time. Leon Balogun gets a late yellow card. Final tally Nigeria 1-0 Tanzania. Aishi Manula, the Tanzania goalkeeper should be commended for brilliant display against the onslaught on Nigerian strikers.