Nigeria’s Super Eagles defeated Rwanda’s Amavubi 2-0 in a second leg first round qualifying game of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations decided at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar on Saturday.
Goals on either side of the break by Ikechukwu Uche and Ahmed Musa saw Nigeria go past the Amavubi at a canter in a game that simmered without reaching boiling point.
After less-than-sparkling displays in their last two qualifying games, the stakes were raised high for the Nigerian side.
The Nigeria coach, Stephen Keshi rang the changes as John Utaka, Victor Moses and Juwon Oshaniwa were dropped to the bench for reportedly failing to rise to the occasion in Nigeria’s last two matches.
The home side dominated early on and were soon rewarded as Ikechukwu Uche profited from some lax defending in the Rwanda box off an Ahmed Musa corner in the 7th minute.
With the Amavubi failing to clear their lines, the Granada striker fired a low shot which evaded goal keeper, Jean Claude Ndole and give Nigeria an early advantage.
The Super Eagles dominated the rest of the half with the visitors failing to offer any real threat.
The Nigerians knew a goal by Rwanda in the second half would threaten their chances of further progression in the qualifying games and quickly went on the offensive after the break.
A probing cross into the Rwanda penalty area in the 54th minute was met by Kalu Uche whose deft chest control was finished emphatically by Ahmed Musa’s volley from the edge of the box as Nigeria extended their advantage.
Rwanda improved late on and created several chances but the Super Eagles held on to record an important victory which will now see them progress into the final round of qualifying for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations scheduled to be hosted in South Africa.