By Boluwatife Ezekiel Olaleye
Nigeria put up a convincing attacking masterclass to dismantle Cameroon in a highly convincing 4-0 World Cup qualifying victory at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.
Goals from Odion Ighalo, John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses and Kelechi Iheanacho powered the Super Eagles past the Indomitable Lions who showed promises at the beginning of the game.
Gernot Rohr’s men came into this game on the back of a painful 2-0 defeat in the hands of South Africa in their last competitive fixture and knew there was no room for complacency.
The Indomitable Lions started the brighter of the two and had a chance from a corner kick but Ikechukwu Ezenwa – who took the place of the injured Daniel Akpeyi, was alert to make good saves.
A short John Obi Mikel pass found Victor Mosses but the Chelsea man fluffed his lines for what could have been the opening goal.
The Super Eagles started to grow in confidence as the game wore on and Odion Ighalo – playing for the first time since his move from Watford to Chinese outfit Changchun Yatai, put the ball in back of net from a Moses freekick in the 25th minute but it was ruled for offside.
The former Granada forward would not be denied four minutes later as he received a fine pass from skipper Mikel and fired the ball low past Cameroon goalie Fabrice Ondoa.
Nigeria continued to pile the pressure on their fierce rivals with Ondoa needing to be alert to keep out a close range strike from Moses Simon.
Mikel doubled the lead by tucking the ball home from Moses’ corner. 2-0 it was at half-time and the Uyo crowd got bubbling.
Hugo Bross’ side had the first chance after the break through Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa but Ezenwa – who was having an outstanding performance between the sticks, was at full stretch to save.
That moment was however short-lived in the 55th minute as Victor Moses scored the third goal of the evening following a wonderful cutback pass from Moses Simon.
The Blues wideman could have made it 4-0 seven minutes later but his shot went wide after receiving the ball from substitute Kelechi Iheanacho.
The Leicester City man registered his name on the scoresheet with 13minutes to go, heading the ball low from a brilliant Ogenyi Onazi delivery.
The Super Eagles will travel to Yaoundé to play the return leg on Monday evening and another three points there points there would guarantee their place in Russia next year.