The strikers were on target as the Super Eagles began their World Cup qualifying campaign with a win after seeing off the Chipolopolo in Ndola
Nigeria cruised past Zambia 2-1 at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium thanks to first half goals from Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho to give coach Gernot Rohr a winning start in the 2018 World Cup qualifying series.
The visitors made light work of their hosts who got their consolation courtesy Collins Mbesuma at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
The Super Eagles were less relentless in attack even with the presence of Zambia president Edgar Lungu, as the trio of Iwobi, Iheanacho and Moses Simon gave Stopilla Sunzu’s marshaled backline a torrid time.
Brown Ideye failed to cash in on Adrian Chama’s defensive blunder in the third minute and few seconds later, impressive Carl Ikeme was forced to make a fine save from Fwayo Tembo’s cross.
It took prodigy Iwobi 32 minutes to put Rohr’s men ahead – his first international goal since making his debut against Congo DR on October 8, 2015.
The Arsenal forward riffled past goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene after a defensive mishap from Wedson Nyirenda’s men.
The hosts’ afternoon got worse when Iheanacho got a pass from Brown Ideye, rounded up three Chipolopolo defenders and slotted home the second three minutes from the half time break.
Zambia looked stronger in the second half and Ikeme had to produce sensational saves to deny Mbesuma, Rainford Kalaba and Chisamba Lungu.
But Nigeria’s hopes of keeping a clean slate got dashed as Mbesuma reduced the deficit in the 71st minute, no thanks to Kenneth Omeruo’s blunder.
Kalaba and Jackson spurned two excellent opportunities to level scores in the closing stages of the game, as the Super Eagles calmed their nerves to seal maximum points.
Nigeria host Algeria in their second game on November 7, 2016 while Zambia chase their first victory with an away tie against Cameroon.