Abuja, Nigeria – The Nigerian Green Eagles dominated the Ethiopian Walyas in a match that saw – Peter Utaka and Ikechukwu Uche scored a couple of goals each.
When the Eagles opened the score just 30 seconds into the game, Nigerian sports fans were expecting to see an avalanche of goals, but the Ethiopian defense prevailed.
However, the situation changed in the second half as Utaka doubled the score (53’).
Utaka was replaced in the second half by Uche, who found the net in the 78th minute and then sealed the win in injury time.
It was the first competitive win for Nigeria’s new coach, Samson Siasia. He took over in the wake of the poor performance at the World Cup last year and with the team mired in a corruption scandal.
Madagascar 1 Guinea 1
Meanwhile in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Group B leader Guinea was held to a 1-1 draw by Madagascar here today in the 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifier.
It was the host who opened the score 17 minutes into the game thanks to Yvan Rajaonarimana. And that’s how the two teams went to the dressing room at the end of the first half.
Guinea had to wait until the last ten minutes of the game to clinch the equalizer from a goal by Djoulde Bah.
For Madagascar, this was the team’s first point and also the first goal scored after it lost its first two matches to Nigeria (0-2) and Ethiopia (0-1).
The following is a play by play that appeared on MTN:
Final Score: Nigeria 4 Ethiopia 0
90’ – GOAL! Ike Uche back with a bang! A super strike from distance which beat the goalkeeper, who was off his lines.
89’ – Nigeria substitution: Joel Obi is out for Kalu Uche.
82’ – Nsofor is booked for a foul on Tefera.
81’ – Ethiopia make another replacement.
78’ – Nice setup by Osaze for Uche to score this goal. His introduction has been the key to the Eagles revival after a somewhat lethargic showing for long periods.
77’ – GOAL! Substitute Ike uche stabs home from inside the six-yard box for goal number 3! It’s a great return for Uche who has been sidelined by knee injuries for over a year.
69’ – Nigeria substitution: Ike uche replaces for Utaka of Nigeria.
67’ – The fans still want more goals and keep singing as such… There should be more goals from the Eagles at this point in time.
66’ – Relief for the Ethiopians as the goalkeeper finally gets back on his feet to continue the game. A free kick is awarded to Ethiopia from inside their territory.
65’ – Ethiopia goalie is down on the turf and it seems he may not be able to finish this game…
– This is a big blow to the Walya Antelopes! The goalkeeper has been the saving grace of the Ethiopians.
64’ – Ethiopia goalie makes a point-blank save off Nsofor and the rebound is headed wide by the Ethiopia shot stopper.
63’ – Yobo clears out of danger as Ethiopia make a replacement.
62’ – Ahmed Musa is now a lot more visible on the right flank for Nigeria.
61’ – A foul against Osaze inside the Ethiopia goal area and free kick to the Walya Antelopes.
60’ – Ethiopia seem to have opened up now and want to attack led by Tefera.
59’ – Osaze’s introduction appears to have pepped up the Eagles attack now.
– Expect more goals from Nigeria now…
58’ – Ethiopia keep at their short passing game as the Eagles go for more goals.
57’ – Nigeria substitution: Osaze replaces Anichebe for Nigeria.
55’ – This is not exactly the explosive display that coach Siasia promised, but at least the Eagles seem to be coasting to a home win now.
54’ – This should be a welcome relief to the home team, but Ethiopia are complaining that the goal was scored from an offisde position.
54’ – Ethiopia get another booking, this time for their skipper. It’s the fourth booking for the visitors.
53’ – GOAL! Utaka gets his second goal of the night to the delight of the fans! Utaka controls the ball before he rounds up the Ethiopia goalie to slot home his second of the night.
51’ – Musa’s cross from the right is saved by the second time of asking.
50’ – Fikru Tefera, the only foreign pro on the Ethiopian side, is showing signs of his class in this clash.
49’ – Ahmed Musa for Nigeria delivers a cross from the right but an Ethiopia defender is cleared out of danger.
48’ – Nsofor seems to be struggling as he again shoots wide off target.
47’ – Eagles win a throwin around the Ethiopia territory.
– Both teams start trotting out from the dressing room for the resumption of the second half…
– Nigeria have to take their chances and score more goals.
46’ – Ethiopia kick off the second half.
46’ – Nigeria go on the attack immediately.
End of 1st Half: Nigeria 1 Ethiopia 0
45 + 1’ – Only one goal seperates the team ranked 39th in the world and the one ranked 124th.
45’ – Ethiopia will have to be encouraged by what they have seen in the first half just as it ends with Nsofor fluffing another fine chance.
44’ – Eagles get a throwin around the corner, but nothing comes out of this. There will be an addition minute in this first half.
43’ – Utaka misses what ought to be the second goal of the day, but he chose to blaze his shot from eight yards out – well off the mark.
43’ – What a miss! Nigeria will go on to regret this miss. The Eagles would have gone into the dressing room with at least a two-goal cushion…
42’ – Anichebe is caught offside as Nigeria launch another attack.
41’ – Joel Obi is denied by the Ethiopia goalie, his shot from the top of the box is scrambled away for a corner.
40’ – Ethiopia now passing the ball very well among themselves to the delight of the home fans.
38’ – Taye Taiwo’s shot from the left screams across the face of goal as the Eagles search for a second goal.
37’ – Mikel is crowded out by Ethiopian defenders as Nigeria again attack.
35’ – Nigeria need to make the most of their advantages by scoring more goals in this tie.
34’ – It’s still 1-0 in favour of hosts Nigeria. A lack of chemistry upfront again denies Nigeria another goal…
33’ – A long searching ball from Okonkwo fails to locate Nsofor.
29’ – Utaka is always getting into scoring positions but on this occasion he just fails to make contact to a pass right inside the Ethiopia box.
29’ – The fans are singing they want more goals… The Eagles have not capitalised on their dream start and Ethiopia are gaining in confidence.
28’ – An Nsofor free kick is easily saved by the Ethiopia goalie.
27’ – Free kick to Nigeria after Anichebe is fouled close to the box.
25’ – Ethiopia are happy for Nigeria to come at them. The visitors are playing with a lot more confidence now.
23’ – Utaka was blown offside. Joel Obi initiates another Nigeria attack and gets a throwin around the Ethiopia box.
22’ – The SuperSport United striker was unhappy his team were not awarded a penalty after it seemed a player was brought down inside the Eagles area.
21’ – Game is held up temporarily as Tefera of Ethiopia is booked for dissent.
19’ – The eagles are not playing with as much cohesion as we saw them do against Sierra Leone in their friendly in Lagos last month.
18’ – Nsofor’s low cross beats everyone inside the Ethiopia box including his own teammates.
18’ – Powerful shot by Chibizor Okonkwo, the only player from the Nigeria Premier League, screams into touch from distance.
17’ – Mikel pass beats Anichebe, if not Nigeria would have been celebrating a second goal.
16’ – Foul against Nigeria and a free kick for Ethiopia inside their own box.
15’ – Nigeria again on the attack through the left flank.
13’ – The game is being played at a slow pace. Ethiopia are again under pressure from Nigeria.
12’ – Another shot at goal by Ethiopia, but its wide off target.
12’ – The visitors are now more settled after that early setback as they begin to string passes between themselves in midfield.
11’ – Eagles goalkeeper has his first feel of the ball and it’s Ethiopia’s first shot at goal.
9’ – Ethiopia attack but they are cut short by a foul on their part.
8’ – His size, power and pace are causing the visitors all manner of problems already.
7’ – Coach Siasia’s prayer for an early goal has been answered while Anichebe is proving to be a real thorn in the flesh of the Ethiopia defence.
6’ – A little mix-up in the Nigerian defence but danger is cleared just in time.
5’ – They enjoy more of the ball as Ethiopia are camped in their own half of the pitch.
4’ – Nigeria are in full control of the game, looking good for more goals.
3’ – The Ethiopians are already confused and give away a needless corner to the Eagles.
2’ – GOAL! Nigeria score! It’s Peter Utaka, surprise starter for this game.
– Victor Anichebe sets up Utaka to slot home. and it’s scored within a minute.
1’ – Nigeria kick off…
– Skippers of both teams do the routine pre-match formality. Nigeria will play from right to left, while Ethiopia start the game from left to right.
– Guinea only salvaged a draw with five minutes left on the clock against the group’s bottom team Madagascar.
– A big boost for the Eagles going into this game was that Group B leaders Guinea forced a 1-1 draw in Madagascar earlier today.
– Big, noisy crowd here at the Abuja National Stadium to witness coach Samson Siasia’s competitive debut.
– Martins who is still nursing a groin injury has not been included in tonight’s lineup.
– Both teams are on the pitch, getting set for the match. Nigeria are in all-green, Ethiopia in all-yellow strips.
– Good evening and welcome to our live Play-by-Play coverage of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations Group B qualifier between Nigeria and Ethiopia live from Abuja.