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Nigeria first African side to book World Cup place

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Super Eagles during their last open training yesterday at the Goswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo

Nigeria is the first team from Africa to qualify for the World Cup, doing it with a game to spare after beating Zambia 1-0 at home on Saturday.

The federation had suffered huge blows leading up to the match when star striker Brian Mwila who downed the Algerians last month was ruled out, as well as K.V. Oostende of Belgium midfielder, Emmanuel Banda and Sweden-based Edward Chilufya who all pulled out due to injury.

The Eagles carved out the better chances, although Zambia looked risky on the counter attack until Iwobi settled the affair and sent Nigeria to the World Cup finals.

Zambia has done surprisingly well in these qualifiers, now second in Group B with seven points, just three points back of Nigeria in first.

Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi has stated that the desire to feature at the FIFA World Cup drove the Super Eagles to clinch a win in Saturday's FIFA World Cup qualifier against Zambia, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

"I believe the Eagles will triumph over Zambia 100 per cent".

"Again, some of the players know that if they miss the 2018 World Cup, they may not have another opportunity to play at the Mundial, so they know this is their best chance".

Mikel rated highly the Zambian team they battled against today in Uyo.

Seen by many as the toughest group of the continent's five qualifying tables, Nigeria have been dominant, remaining unbeaten throughout and only dropping points thanks to a Cameroonian penalty on the road in Yaounde. Their only match not to win was a 1-1 draw away to Cameroon.

"I have always had great respect for the Super Eagles and its array of world-class players but if there is a team that can beat Nigeria in Nigeria, it's Zambia". As far as I'm concerned, we've collected the World Cup ticket and we are going to Russian Federation next year. "Well fought boys. Congrats to Nigeria World Cup qualifiers, Russia2018", Bwalya tweeted on his verified Twitter handle immediately after the match. He is developing confidence with every game.

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