Nigeria became the first African nation to book a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia after a 1-0 win over Zambia.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria became the first African nation to book a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia after a 1-0 win over Zambia on Saturday in Uyo.
Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi scored the winner as Gernot Rohr’s side qualified for a record sixth World Cup appearance.
In a tweet via his official Twitter handle, Jonathan applauded the fighting spirit of the Eagles, saying the team exemplified the “can do Nigerian spirit”.
“I am not surprised that you have qualified. Thank you @NGSuperEagles. You exemplify the can do Nigerian spirit,” he tweeted.
A cross section of football enthusiasts who spoke to NAN in separate interviews also applauded the team’s performance against the Chipolopolo.
Tunde Popoola, Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC) congratulated the Eagles, adding that their victory demonstrates how great Nigeria is in diversity.
“The Super Eagles continue to make us all proud and demonstrate the greatness in our diversity.
“Congratulations to all Nigerians. We can truly achieve great things when we come together,” he said.
Godwin Bamigboye, Chairman, Nigeria Football Coaches Association, FCT Chapter on his part heaped praise on Coach Gernot Rohr for the crucial role he played in qualifying the team for the World Cup.
“A lot of eyebrows were raised when the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) appointed Rohr as the head coach of the Super Eagles.
“Well, look who has taken the team to next year’s World Cup.
“The German coach has shown tactical acumen, leading the Super Eagles through the qualifying campaign without defeat so far and making fans believe in the team again.
“He again displayed excellent tactical and technical prowess through his vital substitutions in the match against Zambia.
“The introduction of Arsenal’s Iwobi injected pace into the Eagles’ attack as the Zambians found it hard to cope with Iwobi’s runs from the right wing.
“Mikel Agu also brought calm and stability to the Eagles’ midfield.
“That’s the difference! Football has gone scientific and it takes a sophisticated coach to find the winning formula when the chips are down,” he said.
Zambia, African champions Cameroon and Algeria with seven, six and one point respectively have all crashed out of Russia 2018.