Swaziland Holds Nigeria

Swaziland and Nigeria played out a goalless draw 0-0 at the Somhlolo Stadium in Lobamba in the second round, first leg of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.  The Swazis started attacking in the early minutes as the Zanelo Nzibina strikes the ball from 30-yards which flies just over the bar.  The hosts were pressing but the Super Eagles’ defence was strong enough to control the ball.

The Nigerians started attacking and had a lucky chance when Odion Ighalo found space in the box and dribbled the ball past two defenders but the home team took hold of the ball and it went out for a corner.  Two minutes later Carl Ikeme was forced to make a save after John Obi Mikel lost the ball in midfield.  Sihlangu did well to advance and take the ball, which was crossed over to the box and almost found a blue shirt but Ikeme came out to save.

Ikeme made another huge save when the opposition Tony Tsabedze took a shot from outside the box.  The west Africans committed a schoolboy error when they did not clear their lines but went unpunished.  In the first half Nigeria have had more of the ball possession but the southern Africans looked more threatening.

The 2013 African champions came back in the second half and Ighalo put pressure on the opposition but the shot went over the bar.  Swaziland had another shot but it just misses the mark.  Shortly thereafter Felix Bandenhorst was injured and replaced by Sandile Hlatjwako.

Moses Simon hit the woodwork as the visitors searched for an opening.  On the hour mark Igahlo and Ahmed Musa did well to feed Victor Moses who dribbled the ball well but shot wide.  The last few minutes of the game saw Nigeria putting pressure on the home side as substitute Obafemi Martins tried his luck but it was blocked by the Swazi defenders.

Efe Ambrose had a late chance with a header but it would go over the crossbar as the Super Eagles had to settle for a draw in the kingdom.

Photo credit: Nick Lourens