BY KUNLE SOLAJA
It was a case of turning from a villain to a hero. While he carried the cross for Nigeria’s defeat last Thursday by Central African Republic in Lagos, Leon Balogun became an instant hero in Douala on Sunday as he launched the Super Eagles into victory path.
In opening scoring at the Matchday 4 of the World Cup qualifying he scored for Nigeria for the first time in 43 appearances.
Incidentally, he was held responsible for the late goal Nigeria conceded last Thursday in Lagos.
As if to atone for causing the goal in Lagos Balogun ventured upfront and put Nigeria ahead in the 29th minute after connecting a right wing lob from Chidozie Awaziem.
Hyper attacker, Victor Osimhen later doubled the lead in stoppage time of the first half to humble the over ambitious Central Africans.
At the end, Balogun said: “My first goal in seven years! I have been looking forward so much to it and I am happy it finally came, and on a day like this.”
With the win, the Super Eagles with nine points out of available 12, stay atop of the group. Following Cape Verde’s late 1-0 defeat of Liberia, they now have seven points to place second while Liberia with three points sit at the bottom of the table.
The concluding round of matches (Day 5 and 6 games) are in November.
The Eagles will travel to Accra, the ‘adopted’ home of Liberia, while Central African Republic fly to Mindelo to tackle the Blue Sharks on Day 5.
On the final day, Nigeria host Cape Verde in Lagos while Liberia fly to Douala to play Central African Republic.