By Eric Yaw Donkoh
Yes, Nigeria may have been the last team to make their entry into Ghana for the 2017 WAFU tournament, but that did not manifest in their performance on Monday evening as they beat Sierra Leone 2-0 at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium.
Moses Osaze Okoro scored one and set up another for Moses Eneji Peter as the Super Eagles announced their presence into the sub regional tournament in a giant fashion.
The Leone Stars [Sierra Leone] pressed the Super Eagles high up the field in the early minutes of the game forcing two great saves from goalkeeper Ikechukwu Enzenwa in the third and tenth minutes to deny Donald Wellington from signing his goal account.
Nathaniel Tongo was freed to break the deadlock in the 15th minute, but Ezenwa again pulled a masterstroke to keep Nigeria alive in the game.
The Super Eagles came into the picture from the 17th minute when Ifeanyi, Ali, Mathias and Eduwo started to gain control of the midfield except that they could not link up well with their leading marksman – Okpotu.
Despite showing some glimpses of quality moves in the third half of the pitch, Nigeria could not force a single save from Sierra Leone goalkeeper Koroma.
Nigeria revised their note in the second half descending heavily on the defends of the Leone Stars with Okpotu trying his luck at goal in the 48th minute with an audacious long range strike having spotted Koroma off his line.
Sierra Leone replied quickly, but Donald Wellington’s attempt at goal in the 50th minute missed the post by a whisker.
The Super Eagles came close to scoring again in the 55th minute when Uche Akas sprinted his way into the eighteen yard box of Sierra Leone but his left footed effort could only hit the outside roof of the net.
Amadu Barrie should have himself to blame for not putting Sierra Leone in front in the 76th minute when he had only goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa to beat but the attacker shot straight to the legs of the agile goalie.
On the reverse angle, Koroma pulled a great save in the 79th minute to deny Rabiu Ali from scoring but the Sierra Leone goalkeeper was left stunned in the 84th minute when Moses Okoro curled a superb free kick from just outside the eighteen yard box straight into the roof of the net.
Moses Eneji Peter signed off the night for the Super Eagles in the 87th minute having been fed by Moses Osaze Okoro with a great pass.