The Super Eagles of Nigeria scored two goals and conceded none against Iceland to record their first points of their World Cup campaign on Friday.
Coming on the back of their impressive draw against Argentina in their opening match, Iceland underlined their intentions for the match early on, Alfred Finnbogason testing Francis Uzoho with a long-range free kick only two minutes into the game.
Although the first half ended goalless, Iceland were the more purposeful side, with the Nigerians going into the break without a single shot on target.
But the Super Eagles were a completely different side in the second half and Oghenekaro Etebo could have put them ahead in the opening seconds, but his tame shot proved no problem for Hannes Thor Halldorsson in the Icelandish goal.
Ahmed Musa put Nigeria ahead just four minutes on, after the ball had been won back in the Nigerian half. Kelechi Iheanacho fed Victor Moses, who sprinted forward before lobbing the ball to Musa. The CSKA Moscow forward’s deft touch took the ball beyond an opposing defender, creating the space for a blast of the ball that Thor Halldorsson had absolutely no chance of stopping.
Wilfred Ndidi nearly made it two shortly after, but his well-struck, deflected shot was tipped over by Thor Halldorsson for a corner.
William Troost-Ekong then got a chance to put himself on the scorers’ sheet, but the defender hurriedly headed wide when he had the time to control the ball and unleash a shot.
The next chance fell to Leon Balogun but the new Brighton defender headed over the bar despite being unmarked.
Musa was proving to be Nigeria’s talisman on the evening, as he curled in a beautiful effort that looked destined for the top of the net but only rested against the bar.
He would not be denied a minute later, though, as he outran a defender from the left flank of the field, left Thor Halldorsson in the dust and shimmied two onrushing defenders before slotting into the net. Two-nil!
Iceland wasted a chance to pull one back from the penalty spot, but the experienced Gylfi Sigurdsson blasted wide and over the bar.
The victory moves Nigeria to second place, and the Eagles will earn a spot in the last-16 if, in their final match, they are able to equal Iceland’s result against Croatia.