The Super Eagles displayed a great fighting spirit to secure the needed result against the Blue Sharks at Mindelo.
Cape Verde scored first, but an equaliser from Victor Osimhen and an own goal by Rocha Santos was enough to give the Super Eagles their second win of the World Cup qualifiers.
The Super Eagles travelled to Cape Verde for their second game of the World Cup qualifiers. Unlike the previous game against Liberia, coach Gernot Rohr had to make do without some of his trusted hands.
However, the German tactician still named a decent starting eleven against the Blue Sharks.
Nigeria were faced with the arduous task of playing on the synthetic pitch of the Aderito Sena Stadium in Mindelo, but the players gave everything.
Nigeria started on the front foot, keeping more of the ball and pressing the Blue Sharks back. They looked like the better side until the 20th minute when a long ball from Lopes met Tavares, who sprinted towards goal and slotted behind Maduka Okoye at his near post.
The Nigeria side weren’t demoralised, as they pushed on with belief. In the 30th minute, they were rewarded for their resilience as Osimhen capitalised on a defensive error to fire home from close range, restoring parity to the game.
Innocent and Micheal helped to marshall the midfield properly to prevent the Blue Sharks from experiencing any joy.
In the second half, the Super Eagles were more purposeful in attack, with Simon Ejuke and Musa trying to create something upfront.
However, none of their skills brought fruits 25 minutes into the second half.
Moffi and Onyekuru were introduced in the 71st minutes for Simon and Musa, who marked his 100th cap for Nigeria.
It turned out that they were the good luck charm that the team needed as five minutes after coming on, Cape Verde defender Rocha played a very poor back pass which went over his keeper and flew into the Cape Verde net, giving Nigeria a 2-1 lead.
Omeruo and Awaziem kept it tight at the back, showing great physical and mental strength to keep Cape Verde at bay.
Their great defensive work was enough to see Nigeria through with the 2-1 victory. With the victory, Nigeria sit on top of the group with six points, three points ahead of Liberia, who are second.