Peter Odemwingie scored the only goal as Nigeria beat Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1-0, in Cuiaba on Saturday. Defeat for the Bosnians means they are eliminated from the finals with one match remaining.
Nigeria, who had been heavily criticised for failing to score gainst Iran in their opening match, were in dominant form for their second fixture.
The Bosnian defence struggled to cope with the pace and power of Emmanuel Emenike who brushed aside Emir Spahic, the Bosnian captain, to set up Odemwingie for the only goal after 29 minutes.
At the other end, Bosnia's star Edin Dzeko struggled to hit the target.
But the Bosnians were left complaining about two refereeing decisions.
With the game still scoreless, Dzeko did find the net -- only for the strike to be disallowed for offside. Replays showed clearly that the decision was wrong.
The Bosnians were also convinced, with much less justification, that Emenike had fouled Spahic before the Nigerian goal.
The Nigerians' first World Cup finals victory since 1998 put them on four points from two games, two fewer than Argentina whom they meet in the final group match on Wednesday with top spot at stake.
"It's been 16 years and no wins for our country so we are very excited," Odemwingie said after the game. "We needed the win."
If the Nigerians finish second they will probably play France in the second round.
"Victories affect people in different ways so we are looking up now and if we get into the second round anything can happen," Odemwingie said.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
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Date created : 2014-06-21