Saturday Oct 07, 2017. 20:05
Welcome to the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo for this evening’s 2018 World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Zambia.
Live Commentary (press F5 to refresh)
All times CAT
90+3′ – Full time – Done and dusted, Nigeria win and qualify for the 2018 World Cup! It will be the sixth appearance for the Super Eagles, who are the first team from Africa to secure their place in next year’s global tournament!
90+1′ – Yellow card – Chingandu is booked for a late challenge.
90′ – There will be three minutes of added time.
87′ – Substitution – Mulenga makes way for John Chingandu in Zambia’s final change.
85′ – Moses with a chance on the ‘D’ of the box, but he snatches at his volley and sends it over the target.
84′ – Iwobi free down the right side of the penalty area, but he’s flagged offside.
80′ – Substitution – Ola Aina replaces Echiejile in Nigeria’s final change.
78′ – Substitution – Justin Shonga replaces Sakala in Zambia’s attack.
76′ – Iwobi crosses from the right but his ball is just too strong for Ighalo at the far post! The Arsenal man has added a new dimension to his team’s attack.
73′ – GOAL! Nigeria 1-0 Zambia – Finally the deadlock is broken! Shehu provides a cut-back from the right and Iwobi shoots first time to beat Mweene with a low shot! Great finish and that goal could send Nigeria to Russia 2018!
71′ – A great counter attack for Nigeria, but Ighalo opts to try and cut back rather than shoot first time and the move breaks down!
68′ – Midway through the second half, still 0-0. So far so good for Zambia, but they need to win this match if they are to have any realistic hope of qualifying ahead of Nigeria.
66′ – Substitution – Here’s the answer, as Iwobi replaces Simon in the forward line.
65′ – How long before Nigeria look to boost their attack? They have the likes of Alex Iwobi, Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho on the bench…
63′ – Yellow card – Abdullahi is booked for a nasty challenge on Mwepu.
60′ – Up to the hour mark, just 30 minutes left for one of these teams to take this game by the scruff of the neck.
57′ – Ndidi with a looping header on target but Mweene makes a superb save to keep the game goalless!
56′ – Yellow card – Mtonga is booked for a cynical foul on Mikel.
55′ – A sniff of goal for Zambia but Ngonga can’t bring the ball under control. Nigeria living dangerously at the back…
51′ – Substitution – Ernest Mbewe replaces Lungu in Zambia’s first change of the match.
50′ – Ndidi gets onto the end of a free kick driven into the box, but his header is high and wide.
47′ – Moses floats a long diagonal into the box and Balogun heads on target, but it’s an easy save for Mweene.
46′ – Back underway in the second half, no changes from either team at the break.
45+2′ – Half time – Goalless at the break, but it’s certainly not been short of entertainment. Nigeria know they can take this game if they just tighten up their play, while Zambia still have genuine hope of an upset.
45+1′ – There will be two minutes of added time.
45′ – Ighalo with a great chance to dig out a cross from the right by-line and Simon tries an acrobatic volley which is also way high and wide. Had the crowd excited, though…
43′ – Ighalo with a half-chance under pressure from Tembo, but he volleys off target.
40′ – Five minutes to half time. Nigeria have been the better team overall, but Zambia have had perhaps the best chances.
38′ – Mikel volleys a dropping ball on the edge of the box, but his effort is high and wide.
36′ – Ngonga with a long range effort which bounces awkwardly in front of Ezenwa and then strikes the outside of the post! The closest we’ve come to a goal at either end!
35′ – Yellow card – Agu is booked for a hand in Mwepu’s face in midfield. He’ll need to tread carefully now…
31′ – Moses cuts inside from the right and shoots left-footed, but Mweene makes a comfortable save. Now it’s a chance for Ngonga, who outmuscles Balogun and stabs a shot over with only Ezenwa to beat!
30′ – Substitution – Here comes the change for Nigeria, with Agu replacing the injured Onazi.
29′ – Zambia have grown in this game and are now posing a genuine threat to the hosts.
27′ – Nigeria have got Ndubisi Agu ready to replace Onazi, but the midfielder limps on for now. Looks like he’ll try to run the injury off.
24′ – A blow here for Nigeria, with Onazi receiving treatment and the medical team has called for a substitution.
23′ – Midway through the first half, still goalless in Uyo. Zambia have the ball in the back of the net through Mulenga, but he’s flagged offside.
20′ – Another corner for Nigeria, again it’s well defended by Zambia.
17′ – Simon plays a great cross from the right flank but it’s just too strong for Ighalo, who threw himself at the ball but couldn’t quite reach it!
14′ – Nigeria’s defence gives the ball away and Zambia are presented with a great chance – however, Sakala opts for a shot from a tight angle which only travels out for a goal kick. Lucky break for the hosts…
13′ – Ngonga with a cracking turn, run and cross from the right flank, but his ball is just too strong for Sakala through the middle.
12′ – Good defending from Echiejile as he holds off Ngonga in attack for Zambia.
9′ – Good passing from the Super Eagles, though Zambia are looking well organised in defence.
6′ – Simon with a storming run forward to win a corner kick. The set piece sees Moses look for the far post, but Mweene makes a solid catch.
4′ – Zambia with a couple of quick corners, but neither is a bother for Nigeria thanks to some sub-par delivery from Kapumbu.
2′ – Moses blown up for an early hand-ball near the centre circle. Nigeria starting with plenty of energy and intent.
1′ – Kick-off – We are underway in Uyo! Nigeria wear their famous all-green, while Zambia are kitted out in orange and black.
17h50 – Ten minutes to kick-off. Our referee today is Joshua Bondo from Botswana. He will be assisted by Oamogetse Godisamang and Souro Phatsoane, with Tirelo Mositwane as the fourth official.
17h40 – A reminder of the stakes for this match, where the equation is very simple for Nigeria: win and they will be the first African team to secure qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. A draw would also be a good result, but wouldn’t mathematically guarantee their spot at the finals.
Should Zambia win, it would bring them level on points with Nigeria ahead of the final round of matches in November.
17h30 – Half an hour to kick-off, here are the line-ups for the match:
Nigeria: Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Shehu Abdullahi, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Elderson Echiejile, Wilfred Ndidi, John Obi Mikel, Ogenyi Onazi, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo, Moses Simon
Zambia: Kennedy Mweene, Simon Silwimba, Fackson Kapumbu, Ziyo Tembo, Stophila Sunzu, Kondwani Mtonga, Enock Mwepu, Chisamba Lungu, Augustin Mulenga, Fashion Sakala, Alex N’gonga