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JUST-IN: Balogun, Osimhen net as Nigeria redeem image with CAR win in WCQ

The duo of Leon Balogun and Victor Osimhen were both on target as Nigeria’s Super Eagles gained their pound of flesh against Central African Republic (CAR) with a 2-0 win on Sunday in their 2022 World Cup qualifier at Stade Omnisport de Bepanda in Douala..

Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr made three changes from the starting XI in the 1-0 reverse fixture three days ago in Lagos with Maduka Okoye, Chidozie Awaziem and Ahmed Musa coming in place of Francis Uzoho, Ola Aina and Chidera Ejuke.

Kelechi Iheanacho flashed his free-kick wide off target within two minutes into the game while Victor Osimhen saw the ball whisked away from his feet as he swiveled to shoot after a brilliant cut back from Jamilu Collins in the 10th minute.

Balogun, who was partly at fault for the late goal scored by Central African Republic in Lagos, redeemed himself when he fired home from close range from a Frank Onyeka lofted pass into the opponents’ box just before the half hour mark.

Osimhen doubled Nigeria’s lead with barely the last kick of the first half when he latched onto a pass from William Troost-Ekong and fired past goalkeeper Prince Samolah.

The duo of Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa combined beautifully five minutes into the second half, but the latter chose to go for a reverse pass to Victor Osimhen when an attempt at goal himself would have sufficed. The ball was duly cleared by the hosts.

Seven minutes later, Osimhen rounded Central African Republic’s goalkeeper after a lofted pass by Joe Aribo, but the ball was eventually cleared by the opponents.

May be an image of 11 people, people standing and grass

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The hosts had a glorious chance themselves to reduce the deficit, but it was the Super Eagles that had better chances towards the end of the game, with Chidera Ejuke creating all sorts of troubles for the opposition defenders.

The three-time African champions still lead the group log with nine points from four games qualifiers in and will face Cape Verde and Liberia in continuation of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in November.

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