[By VICTOR NZE]
Lagos venue is now set to host the all-important decider for which country picks the sole ticket from Group C for the final play-off in the African zone of the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup.
This follows the results from Saturday’s qualifying matches in the African zone of the World Cup which saw the Super Eagles of Nigeria beat Lone Star of Liberia by 2-0, while the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde defeated the Central African Republic (CAR) by 2-1 on home soil on the island of Mindelo.
Before today’s round of fixtures, Nigeria were on 9 points and needed Cape Verde to drop points to ensure a guaranteed ticket, as the country would have finished the week on 12 points and Cape Verde with a maximum of either 7 or 8 points.
However, with both countries winning their respective matches, Saturday evening, it means the final round of fixtures scheduled for next week in Lagos will decide who picks the World Cup ticket to the final play-offs later this year.
Super Eagles will host the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde in Lagos, next Tuesday.
The Super Eagles have played all their home matches in the Qatar World Cup qualifiers at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has not announced any change to that schedule yet.
Playing Liberia away in Tangier, Morocco, Saturday evening, the Super Eagles hit two goals from the penalty spot, one each scored by Victor Osimhen (11th minute) and captain Ahmed Musa in stoppage time to seal a 2-0 win and maintain their lead in Group C with 12 points.
Cape Verde follows with 10 points after coming from behind to beat CAR in Cameroun by 2-1.
The Super Eagles will begin to rue their missed opportunity of sealing the ticket when they failed to beat CAR at home in Lagos, but instead lost by a lone goal. If that match had been won, then this Saturday’s result would only have meant a guaranteed ticket for the final playoffs with a match to spare.
Also, captain Ahmed Musa, who plays for Turkish club, Fatih Karagumruk, set a new record as the most capped international with 102 caps for the Super Eagles.
The Super Eagles are aiming for their sixth World Cup appearance, having qualified for all but one of the tournaments since their debut in 1994 in the United States.