*As Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses refuse to shake Pinnick
By Oluwole Francis
Super Eagles on Monday ended the Indomitable Lions’ hopes of qualifying for the Russia 2018 World Cup despite being held 1-1 by the Cameroonians in the reverse fixture of their Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying double-header in Yaounde.
With the draw, the Eagles has gathered four points from the double fixtures having walloped the Cameroonians 4-0 in Uyo on Friday, to extend their lead in Group B to 10 points.
Zambia are second with four points. Cameroon are third with three points and Algeria hold the rear with one point.
It was sweet revenge for the Nigerians, who lost the ticket to the 1990 World Cup to the Lions after losing 1-0 in Yaounde in 1989.
A goal from Ghent of Belgium forward, Moses Simon and a converted penalty from Vincent Aboubakar ensured the two sides shared the points at the Stade Omnisports Ahmadou Ahidjo.
Eagles coach Gernot Rohr maintained the Uyo starting line-up, with Elderson Echiejile, Shehu Abdullahi, Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong in defence.
Wilfred Ndidi and Ogenyi Onazi were in defensive midfield while Victor Moses, John Obi-Mikel and Moses Simon supported Ighalo in attack.
Ifeanyi Ubah’s Ikechukwu Ezenwa remained in goal.
However, Nigeria went ahead in the 30th minute after the Lions failed to deal with an Ighalo shot. The ball fell to the Ghent man, whose effort evaded some trembling Cameroonian legs before hitting the roof of the net.
The Eagles however struggled in the second half and in the 73rd minute, Ezenwa clattered into Djoum and Gambian referee Papa Gassama awarded a penalty, which Aboubakar converted.
The hosts searched for a winner but the Eagles held on for a draw over their bitter rivals.Nigeria, however, will wait till they play their last two matches in October against Zambia in Uyo and Algeria in Algiers in November to ensure their qualification to Russia.
The Zambians, who defeated Algeria 3-1 on Saturday, will hope to take their chance to close the gap between them and the Eagles when they play Algeria in Algiers today. A win for the Chipolopolo will take them to seven points – three behind Nigeria.
However, there may be silent trouble in the team. Currently, there is a film clip which showed how Ahmed Musa dropped from the plane, shook everybody and when he got to Amaju Pinnick just walked past him.
When it was the turn of Victor Moses he did exactly the same. This time around, Pinnick scratched his elbow and turned to look at Victor Moses who has passed by him, to be sure he was so disgraced.