After subduing Liberia in Lagos, Super Eagles are billed to fly out in the early hours of Monday to the island of Mindelo, where they play Cape Verde’s Blue Sharks in a Day 2 encounter on Tuesday evening.
The players and officials have been strategising on their subsequent matches in the World Cup qualifiers and they had vowed not to gamble with any of their chances in the series.
Nigeria got their campaign for a seventh FIFA World Cup finals appearance off to a bright start with a 2-0 win over Liberia in wet conditions in Lagos on Friday.
England –based Kelechi Iheanacho, who was also among the players on parade when the Eagles commenced their Russia 2018 campaign on solid footing against Zambia in Ndola in October 2016, netted a first half brace that took some of the fight out of the resilient Lone Stars but never put them in depression at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Both teams came out guns-blazing, understandably, but the Eagles came close to drawing the first blood when a clever move by Kelechi Iheanacho and pass by Alex Iwobi ended with Joseph Aribo’s grounder drifting lazily away from goal in the 15th minute.
Three minutes later, Iwobi scoffed his shot from the edge of the box, and in the 21st minute, Ola Aina’s powerful lash from 20 yards was diverted. From the resulting corner kick, Iwobi and Iheanacho exchanged passes, with the latter’s fierce grounder flying past goalkeeper Ashley Williams.
Four minutes later, Sampson Dweh tested goalkeeper Maduka Okoye with a well–placed shot from 25 yards, but the Nigerian goal-tender was up to the task.
Just before the break, Kelechi made it two by placing the ball well beyond the reach of Williams in a one-on-one from a goalmouth melee, and Nigeria went into recess with a good feeling.
A minute into the second half, Victor Osimhen had the opportunity to make it 3-0, but got too much purchase on his first touch that took him clear of Jeremy Segbay, and Williams came out early to foil the move.