Lagos – Nigeria will feature in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations after thrashing Liberia 6-1 at home Saturday to go through 8-3 on aggregate.
The home team stunned the visitors less than a minute after the kick-off at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar when central defender Efe Ambrose powered home a free kick taken by Victor Moses.
Despite Liberia enjoying more possession, CSKA Moscow winger Ahmed Musa doubled the lead on 38 minutes when he was first to a pass threaded into the box by Emmanuel Emenike and hit the target.
Moses, who plays for Chelsea, made it 3-0 just three minutes after half-time when he was released by Real Betis forward Nosa Igiebor for his first goal for Nigeria since his debut last February.
Nigeria netted a fourth goal in the 50th minute when another Chelsea star, John Obi Mikel, slotted home a penalty after Liberia goalkeeper Nathaniel Sherman fouled goal-bound Igiebor.
It was Mikel's third international goal and a fitting return for the midfielder, who was playing his first game for the Super Eagles since coach Stephen Keshi took over last November.
In the 70th minute, skipper Duncan Gebro was red-carded for diving inside the Nigerian box.
Liberia's misery was compounded two minutes later when substitute Ike Uche grabbed Nigeria's fifth goal, crashing his shot against the post and into the net.
The more purposeful Eagles continued to threaten to score more goals despite the comfortable lead with Musa, Brown Ideye and Moses fluffing several open chances.
Liberia pulled a goal back on 80 minutes through substitute striker Patrick Wleh.
The tall striker reacted quicker to a through ball by Sekou Oliseh and poked the ball beyond goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.
Moses completed the rout for Nigeria two minutes from time when he nodded home a measured cross by Mikel. – Sapa-AFP