LIVE UPDATES: Nigeria vs Zambia (2018 World Cup Qualifiers)

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Nigeria’s Super Eagles are inching closer to the 2018 World Cup and they will hope to ensure their place with a win at home as they take on Zambia at Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo.

Nigeria presently has 10 points from four games while the Zambians have seven points from the same number of games.

For Nigeria, a win means they will be the first African team to secure qualification for the World Cup in Russia. A draw wouldn’t guarantee their spot at the finals.

Nigeria 1-0 Zambia

FULL TIME! Nigeria books World Cup ticket!

90′ + 3mins added. Chingandu booked for foul on Ekong.

88’ – Nigeria miss the chance for a second goal
84′ – Victor Moses’ shot goes over the bar

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′ – It’s a Goal!! Alex Iwobi scores for Nigeria
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′ – Long range effort on target by Zambia 🇿🇲. Corner kick Zambia

65′ – Alex Iwobi in for Moses Simon.

63′ – Yellow card: Abdullah booked for dangerous play on Mwepu.

61′ – Nigeria pressing but not making much of their dominance. 

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′ – Mtonga booked for a foul on Mikel Obi.
Mweene stretches to parry away Ndidi’s header.

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.

47′ – Nigeria show an early intent with a corner and a goal attempt. 

46′ – Back underway in the second half, no changes from either team at the break.

Half time – Goalless at the break
45+’ – Mikel Agu draws a foul from Mulenga and wins a freekick.
44′ – Moses Simon chose an acrobatic kick but it goes inches wide and Zambia breathe easily.
43′ – Ighalo blasts over the bar from inside the box after being set up nicely by Victor Moses.
39′ – Nigeria’s Mikel blasts a chance off!

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: Mikel Agu is booked for rough play few minutes after coming in.
33′ – Nigeria’s best moment of the game is finally cleared by Zambia. 
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 Mulenga 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.

5- Nigeria clears! Second corner
4- First corner goes to Zambia

3- Mikel with the first sliding tackle
2′ – Moses blown up for an early hand-ball near the centre circle. Nigeria starting with plenty of energy and intent.
1′ – The match kicks off.
4:59 – 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.
The match kicks off at 5pm.
Here are the starting XIs:
Nigeria: Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Elderson Echiejile, Wilfred Ndidi, Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Odion Ighalo, John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses, Shehu Abdullahi, Moses Simon, Ogenyi Onazi

Zambia: Kennedy Mweene, Simon Silwimba, Fackson Kapumbu, Ziyo Tembo, Stophila Sunzu, Kondwani Mtonga, Enock Mwepu, Chisamba Lungu, Augustin Mulenga, Fashion Sakala, Alex N’gonga

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