Multi–millionaire business mogul, Chief Kensington Adebutu, on Saturday rewarded the Super Eagles with the sum of N50 million, after the three –time African champions became the first African country to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Adebutu was full of praises for the Super Eagles for their determination, professionalism and commitment throughout the qualifying campaign, which saw them overhaul the so –called Group of Death with a game to spare.
Speaking with the duo of midfielder Ogenyi Onazi and match –winner Alex Iwobi, the successful businessman urged the team not to rest on its oars, but to prepare hard to be worthy ambassadors of Nigeria and Africa at the FIFA World Cup finals in Russia next year summer.
Meanwhile, defender Ola Aina, who played at junior level for England but opted to represent fatherland at senior level, and was handed his Nigerian debut on Saturday is celebrating his birthday today.
Aina, who was cleared by FIFA to dorn the green-and-white just before the away match against Cameroon in Yaounde last month, got his opportunity after left back Elderson Echiejile got injured in the 79th minute.
“He did pretty well. He tackes well, joins the attack, has the heart for the big game and very calculating,” Rohr praised Aina at the post –match conference.
In the same vein,the Super Eagles have qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after playing seven matches, and wrapping up the ticket on 7th October 2017. Those seven matches include the home-and-away preliminary round against Swaziland in November 2016.
After a 0-0 draw in Lobamba on 13th November, Moses Simon and Efe Ambrose got the goals that qualified Nigeria for the group phase at the Adokiye Amiesiamaka Stadium, Port Harcourt on 17th November 2015.
On 9th October 2016, they defeated Zambia 2-1 in Ndola with goals from Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho and; on 12th November 2016, they overcame Algeria 3-1 in Uyo. Two of the goals were by Victor Moses and the other by Captain Mikel Obi.
On 1st September 2017, African champions Cameroon suffered a 4-0 reverse in Uyo (the goals by Odion Ighalo, Mikel, Moses and Iheanacho), and three days later in Yaounde, the Eagles were forced to a 1-1 draw. Moses Simon scored Nigeria’s goal.
On Saturday, 7th October 2017, the Super Eagles got the job done, beating the Chipolopolo 1-0 with a 74th minute goal by Alex Iwobi.
Seven different players have scored Nigeria’s 13 goals of the series so far: Victor Moses (3), Mikel Obi, Alex Iwobi, Moses Simon, Kelechi Iheanacho (2 each), Odion Ighalo and Efe Ambrose (one each).