Nigeria’s super Eagles on Sunday began their group campaign in Africa’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers’ Final Round Group B with a 2-1 victory away to Chipolopolo of Zambia in Ndola.
Nigeria’s goals came in the first half through two of their rising stars, while veteran Collins Mbesuma scored Zambia’s goal.
Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi put the Super Eagles ahead in the 32nd minute, while Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho added to the scoreline 10 minutes later.
In a fast-paced match with chances at both ends, team captain John Mikel Obi almost gave his side an unassailable 3-0 lead in the second half.
But his long-range volley was tipped over the bar by Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene.
Zambia pushed for a reply and were rewarded in the 71st minute when Mbesuma grabbed one back.
In spite of much pressure, Nigeria held on to record an away win to go top of their group, regarded as one of the toughest in 2018 World Cup qualifying.
The other two teams in Group B, Algeria and Cameroon, face each other in Blida later on Sunday.
All four teams are previous African champions.(NAN)