MATCH CENTRE

SAT 21 JUNE 2014, 23:59, ARENA PANTANAL

1
VS
0

Nigeria get World Cup hopes back on track

by Samm Audu

Sun June 22, 02:02

African champions Nigeria finally got their 2014 World Cup campaign back on track after they defeated a brave Bosnia-Herzegovina 1-0 in a Group F match in Cuiaba Sunday morning.

The Super Eagles thus moved into second place on four points from two matches after they drew their first game with Iran. Argentina are top of the standings on six points and clash with Nigeria on Wednesday in a final group game in Porto Alegre.

It was Nigeria’s first win at the World Cup since 1998.

“It was an improved performance by Nigeria and after the criticisms against coach Stephen Keshi, he now has to take the credit,” said former Nigeria skipper Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha.

The Eagles match winner came in the 29th minute, when Emmanuel Emenike outmuscled Bosnia skipper Saphic on the right, before he rolled into the box for Osaze Odemwingie to fire past his Stoke City teammate.



Bosnia would feel a lot hard done by as they had two major calls go against them in the first 45 minutes – First, Edin Dzeko’s effort was disallowed on 19 minutes for offside but television replays later showed it should have stood.

And then Bosnia protested the match winner, arguing that Emenike fouled on his way to goal.

Lille shot stopper pulled off several saves with the last being in stoppage time off dangerman Dzeko as it hit the post and rolled to safety.

Onazi and Emenike were both denied late on by the excellent Asmir Begovic.

This encounter was open from the first blast of the whistle as both teams went at each other in search of the opening goal.

Nigeria were first to settle down and they took the game to their European foes. Emenike, Ogenyi Onazi, Ahmed Musa and Osaze all had chances to put Nigeria ahead.

Osaze’s free kick after seven minutes missed target just narrowly.

In the 20th minute, Ahmed Musa failed to connect an inviting cross from the right delivered by Efe Ambrose.

Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko’s effort after 19 minutes was disallowed as television replays later showed it should have stood.

Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama pulled off two big saves to ensure a clean sheet in the first 45 minutes.

Harojvic first tested Enyeama in the 23rd minute and a minute later, the Lille shot stopper was again on hand to stop Dzeko's effort at goal.

MATCH STATISTICS
MATCH VENUE REFEREE
GROUP STAGE ARENA PANTANAL
NIGERIA GOALS BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA GOALS
8. Peter Odemwingie (29')
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
1
NIGERIA STARTING LINEUP BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA STARTING LINEUP
Goalkeeper
1
Goalkeeper
1
Defender
2
Defender
4
Forward/Striker
75'
18
Defender
58'
16
Forward/Striker
29'
8
Defender
15
Midfielder
5'
63'
18
Midfielder
57'
20
Midfielder
13
Midfielder
8
Midfielder
7
Midfielder
10
Forward/Striker
11
SUBSTITUTIONS
Shola Ameobi
Forward/Striker
65'
23
Vedad Ibisevic
Forward/Striker
57'
9
Ejike Uzoenyi
Midfielder
75'
3
Sejad Salihovic
Midfielder
58'
23
Tino Susic
Midfielder
63'
14
CARDS
Haris Medunjanin
Midfielder
5'
18
KEY
Goal
Penalty Missed
Yellow Card
Substitute IN
Own Goal
Penalty Shootout Goal
Yellow / Red Card
Substitute OUT
Penalty
Penalty Shootout Miss
Red Card
Injury
GALLERY
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