Swaziland’s hopes of reaching their first ever Fifa World Cup got dashed as they crashed 2-0 to Nigeria at the Adokiye Amesiamaka Stadium, Port Harcourt on Tuesday evening. A trade mark free-kick from Moses Simon and Efe Ambrose’s strike breezed aside Harris Bulunga’s side who had boasted about their chances of upstaging the Super Eagles before their home fans. The Super Eagles made their intent of winning known as early as the second minute when pressure on the visitor’s backline and got a corner kick unexploited by Simon. Nigeria pushed forward on their second attack of the game, patiently passing the ball around midway inside the Swaziland half of the pitch. They were unable to find a way through the sea of players camped in front of them, however, and Odion Ighalo ended up losing the ball on the right wing.
Another chance surfaced in the 12th minute when captain Ahmed Musa twisted and turned on the left-hand side of the King’s Shield backline before teeing up Ighalo who was unable to get the ball off his feet before wrestling Pamla to the ground. Not too long, Musa darted down the left flank before cutting inside and beating three Swazi players. He then unleashed a rocket of a shot from 20 yards out but was blocked well by Mkhweli just inside the penalty area. Oliseh’s men biggest miss came in the 30th minute when Watford’s Odion Ighalo missed a sitter. He got a long cross from the midfield from Paul Onobi, controlled but flashes wide with just the goalkeeper to beat. Swaziland, in similar manner failed to get a goal two minutes later after the Super Eagles rear was caught unawares. Mkhweli floated his free kick, controlled by Pamla who sent a low one to Sandile Hlatjwako who fails to convert into an empty net. On resumption of the second half, the Eagles continued with their dominance but lacked the cutting edge as Ighalo who was the arrow head of the attack missing clear cut chances – with Ogenyi Onazi occasionally shooting wide. However, relief came to the home fans as Simon curled in a master free kick from the edge of Swaziland after Sylvester Igbonu was fouled by Ndlovu. The Gent man stepped forward to swerve the ball to the top right corner of goalkeeper Gwegbu’s goal. Three minutes from full time, Ambrose sealed the win for the three-time African champions when he skillfully converted from close range from Igbonu’s free kick. With this win, Nigeria have qualified for the group phase of the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier after edging Bulunga’s men 2-0 on aggregate. Goal reportage.