Nigeria defeated Kenya 3-0 at the Abuja National Stadium Sunday to get their World Cup qualification campaign back on track.
Getafe forward Ikechukwu Uche opened the scoring after just two minutes before Obinna Nsofor from Inter Milan grabbed a brace in the second half.
Tunisia stay top of Group B with six points from two matches after they defeated Mozambique 2-0 at home Saturday, with Nigeria two points behind in second place.
Mozambique are on one point while Kenya remain pointless.
Both Tunisia and Nigeria clash in Tunis in two weeks time at the Rades Stadium in a match that could well provide an indication of the overall leadership of this group.
Inside a packed 60,000-capacity Abuja National Stadium, Nigeria started a youthful team without established internationals like Joseph Yobo, Mikel John Obi and Taye Taiwo, who stayed away from the team’s recent friendly matches against the Republic of Ireland and France.
It took the Super Eagles only 180 seconds to go in front when Ikechukwu Uche combined with his older brother, Kalu Uche, before a poor clearance by Kenyan defender George Owino let in Ikechukwu Uche to drive the ball past goalkeeper Arnold Origi.
Kenya’s first attempt at goal came after quarter of an hour when Dennis Oliech let fly from distance but goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama saved easily.
Italy-based MacDonald Mariga tested Enyeama with a cleanly struck shot on 26 minutes, and a minute later, Oliech came even closer but his shot from the edge of 18-yard box brushed the crossbar.
Odemwingie would have doubled Nigeria’s lead when he was set up by Ikechukwu Uche, but Origi blocked his powerful shot.
The Russia-based striker wasted an even better chance three minutes later when his effort from top of the box missed target by inches.
Just before the interval, Kenya’s Origi spilled an Ikechukwu cross from the right but Esperance of Tunisia striker Eneramo could not take advantage of this clanger with the ball metres from the goal line.
In the 62nd minute, Kenya got their best chances of the match in quick succession with Oliech involved on both occasions.
First, he chose to square the ball to a teammate with the Nigerian defence on the back foot and seconds later, he again decided to pass the ball inside the box after he had rounded up goalkeeper Enyeama.
That was the wake-up call Nigeria needed to increase their lead 10 minutes later. Substitute Obinna Nsofor put away a penalty after goal-bound Odemwingie was brought down inside the box and Moroccan referee El Achiri Abdellah pointed to the penalty spot.
Four minutes later Nsofor thundered home from inside the box for Nigeria’s third goal. A superb move started by Kanu saw Echejile deliver a cross from the left, Ikechukwu miskicked to allow Nsofor control the ball before firing home.
Kenya lost by the same score line in their last two visits to Nigeria, in 1997 and 2003.
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