Nigeria’s national team, the Super Eagles, have become the first African country to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia after taking an unassailable lead atop Group B.
The team beat Zambia’s Chipolopolo in the city of Uyo, southern Nigeria, to secure their qualification. The only goal of the game was scored by Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi. He came on in the 65th minute before converting a pass through a crowded penalty area.
The win put Nigeria on 13 points with the second place Zambia having 7 points. The last fixture for the group on 6 November will be a mere formality for the Super Eagles.
Mikel Obi and his team have now joined hosts Russia along with other teams that have already qualified for the global sporting event, including Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Belgium, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia, Germany, England, Spain and Costa Rica.
By this feat, Nigeria has qualified for six out of the last seven World Cups; they only missed out during Germany 2006. They reached the second round on three occasions – 1994, 1998 and 2014.
Reigning African champions Cameroon and Algeria‚ who got to the second round of the last World Cup finals in Brazil‚ have already been eliminated after disappointing campaigns.