The Super Eagles of Nigeria on Friday defeated the Seychelles national team 3-1 to top Group E in the 2019 AFCON qualification round.
The match, played at the 25,000 capacity Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State, saw a mammoth crowd of fans cheering the Nigeria team to victory.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that goals from Odion Ighalo, Henry Onyekuru and second half substitute Moses Simon ensured victory for the Nigerian team.
The game, which saw the Super Eagles struggled to stamp their feet in the first half, however gained momentum as the match progressed.
Ighalo broke the deadlock in the 34th minute when he converted a penalty kick to register the first goal of the game.
A Seychelles defender had fouled a Nigerian attacker in the penalty box, and Ighalo scored from the spot.
However, Seychelles equalised in the 41st minute, after a blunder by Nigerian goalkeeper Francis Uzoho gave Sychelles striker, Melaine Rody, an easy tap into an empty net.
The second half of the game however saw the Nigerian team dominating play, with total control of the midfield.
They domination eventually paid off in the 52nd minute when Onyekuru found space to score at close range following a Nigerian counter-attack.
Nigeria’s coach Gernot Rohr made two changes in the late minutes of the second half, when he brought in Semi Ajayi to replace Alex Iwobi in the 75th minute.
Ighalo was also withdrawn to make way for diminutive winger Moses Simon in the 87th minute.
Simon however sealed the victory for the Super Eagles on the dot of 90 minutes when he cut into the Seychelles defence to score the third goal for the Nigerian team.
After the match, Seychelles coach Gavin Jeane commended his team for a good game against the Nigerian team.
Jeane said: “I must say it was a good game.
“My players gave a good account of themselves against a big team in Africa.
“Seychelles is just a small nation, compared to Nigeria.
“We had a couple of missed chances.
“We will continue to work harder to correct our mistakes.
“We did not expect to qualify from this group, considering our opponents in the group, but we need the experience to develop our football.”
On his part, Rohr lauded the performance of the Seychelles team against the Nigerian team.
He said: “I want to commend the Seychelles team.
“They played so well with great determination.
“The team has improved so much.
“They played better than they did in the first leg in Seychelles.”
On the performance of the Super Eagles, Rohr said the team did well also, most importantly as they have topped the group with 13 points.
He said the team would now focus on preparations to do well at AFCON 2019 when the tournament kicks off on June 21 in Egypt.
He said: “The Super Eagles impressed, especially in the second half of the game.
“Our target is to win convincingly and top the group, and that we have achieved today.
“We will now focus on building the team stronger so that we can have a good outing in Egypt when AFCON 2019 kicks off.”