Match - Sun 3 June, 17:00, Calabar
Wasteful Eagles squeeze past Namibia
Eagles match winner Ike Uche
The slim win has installed the Super Eagles top of the qualifying section after Kenya and Malawi played out a goalless draw in Nairobi on Saturday.
Spain-based striker Ike Uche made up for several missed chances to grab the match winner on 80 minutes after he was set up by substitute Ahmed Musa.
It was therefore understandable why he was later picked as the man of this match.
In the first half, Namibia goalkeeper Vires Vigil kept his team very much in the picture with some big saves while Enyeama was mostly on a holiday.
However, besides Vigil, Ike Uche, John Utaka, Victor Moses all failed to finish off the Brave Warriors in the first period.
A lot was expected of Montpellier striker Utaka after superb season in France this past season, but he seems to struggle with the fast pace of the game and would later be replaced on the hour by CSKA Moscow of Russia wide man Ahmed Musa.
The trend of misses by the Eagles continued after a scoreless first half to force the full house at the 15,000-capacity UJ Esuene Stadium to begin singing the famous “All we’re saying give us one goal”.
It was a huge lowering of expectations after most pre-match boasts had backed the Super Eagles to win big, just as they had done 11 years ago when they defeated the Southern Africans 4-0 in a 2002 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
On Saturday, the Eagles will play away in Malawi, while Namibia host Kenya in continuation of the qualifying tournament.