• Nigeria now fourth ranked team in Africa
The Super Eagles yesterday gave a glimpse of what their fans should expect from them against South Africa in an African Nations Cup qualifier on June 10 when they bashed Togo 3-0 in an international friendly game played in Paris, France.
Yesterday’s match at the Stade Municipal de Saint Leu La Foret, Paris was the Eagles’ last test match before next week’s encounter with South Africa and the Nigerians did not waste time in sending a strong warning to the Bafana Bafana.
Leicester City of England forward, Ahmed Musa opened scores for Nigeria in the third minute when Togo’s goalkeeper, Allassani spilled Alex Iwobi’s fierce cross along his path.
Rohr gave an inkling of his desire to win the game when he lined up the midfielders and attackers likely to play against South Africa on June 10. In the starting line up were Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Shehu Abdullahi, Elderson Echiejile, who captained the team, Mikel Agu, Chidozie Awaziem, William Troost-Ekong, Ahmed Musa, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo.
Nigeria dominated the first half with Ndidi, Etebo, Iwobi and Iheanacho running rings around the Sparrow Hawks. Iheanacho missed what should have been the second goal when he shot an Iwobi pass straight at the goalkeeper, but the Eagles were not to be held back for too long as Musa grabbed his brace seven minutes later when he converted another pas from Iwobi.
Nigeria took the game beyond Togo in the 27th minute when Etebo robbed Allasani of the ball and squared for Iheanacho to tap in. Changes in the second half that saw the introduction of Victor Osimhen, Henry Onyekuru, Uche Agbo, Ebuehi, Alampasu, Stephen Odey, Sikiru Olatunbosun and Alhassan tempered the flow of the game, but the Eagles held on to record yet another victory over Togo.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s unbeaten run since Gernot Rohr took over the Super Eagles has seen the country climbing two places in the latest FIFA ranking released yesterday.
The Super Eagles are now the world’s 38th best team and Africa’s number four. Nigeria are on 730 points, four more than the previous month and yesterday’s win against Togo and the expected defeat of South Africa on June 10 could take them further up the ladder.
Egypt, Senegal and Cameroun are the current best teams in Africa in that order, while Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Chile and Colombia make up the top five teams in the world.