By Gracious Akujobi, Calabar
Super Eagles of Nigeria defeated Flames of Malawi 2:0 on Saturday to top Group F of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier and make the play-off. The match was decided at the U.J Esuene stadium, Calabar.
Emmanuel Emenike, put the Eagles ahead when he received a long pass from the midfield, controlled superbly before slotting home on the 44th minutes.
The Flames came out at the Eagles from the start of the second half but were unable to trouble the Eagles’ back line.
On the 50th minute, Victor Moses converted from the spot to double the Eagles’ lead after Nnamdi Oduamadi was brought down in the box and a penalty awarded.
Malawian Mzava Limbivani was sent off a minute later after receiving his second caution of the game.
The Eagles couldn’t add to their tally despite playing against ten men as the Malawian keeper Swini Charles stood tall between the sticks to deny Nigeria more goals.
Nigeria top the Group with12 points and thereby made the cut for the final playoff round of the qualifiers.
Speaking at the post-match briefing, Malawian Coach, Tom Saintfiet said his plan was to keep the game goalless in the first half, then attack the Eagles in the second half.
He however, said Emenike’s strike at the dead of first half disorganized their game plan.
Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi said his team played according to instructions. He said the match was easy for him because all his players were fit.