Super Eagles fly at last

2014-06-22 09:20

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Peter Odemwingie's first-half goal proved the difference as Nigeria edged Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-0.

After seeing Edin Dzeko's early goal ruled out for offside, Odemwingie gave the Super Eagles the lead on 29 minutes after slotting the ball through the legs of the advancing Asmir Begovic.

Stephen Keshi's men were able to see out the remainder of the match in Cuiaba with relative ease, picking up their first three-point haul of the Brazil showpiece.

The Super Eagles came flying out of the traps and got their first sighter on goal as early as the third minute, Ogenyi Onazi dragging a shot wide from 25 yards out.

Bosnia's first real chance of the game arrived on nine minutes, with Muhamed Besic firing over the bar from just inside the area.

Nigeria responded with two good chances of their own as Mikel Obi fired just inches wide in the 12th minute before team-mate Michael Babatunde tested Asmir Begovic in the Bosnia goal with a long-range effort.

However, Keshi's men were caught flat-footed in the 22nd minute as Miralem Pjanic found Edin Dzeko with a delightful through ball before the Manchester City frontman slotted home with a smart finish.

Their celebrations were cut short, though, as the assistant referee wrongly signalled for offside, with replays showing that Dzeko had in fact beaten the offside trap.

Dzeko had a glorious chance to give his side the lead three minutes later but Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama did well to parry the ball to safety.

It was Miralem Pjanic's turn next but Enyeama was up to the task once again, denying the Roma midfielder's 20-yard effort at the second attempt.

And Bosnia were made to rue that missed chance as, just one minute later, Nigeria broke on the counter, with Emmanuel Emenike shrugging off a challenge before surging into the box and laying the ball off for the onrushing Odemwingie.

The forward grabbed the chance with both hands, side-footing the ball past Stoke City team-mate Begovic to leave the Bosnia fans sitting in stunned silence.

Having failed to make a meaningful contribution since seeing his early goal wrongly disallowed, Dzeko very nearly brought his side level in the final moments of the match but his driven volley was brilliantly saved by the legs of Enyeama.

The result sees Nigeria pick up their first win at a World Cup in 16 years, whilst also keeping them in the hunt for a place in the knockout stages.

For Bosnia it's back to the drawing board as the result confirms their exit from the competition at the first hurdle.

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