Nigeria labour to 2-0 win over Lesotho
WARRI, Nigeria, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Nigeria laboured to a 2-0 win over minnows Lesotho in their African Nations Cup qualifier in Warri on Saturday, but the spectacle was marred by torrential rain and a waterlogged pitch.
It took the Super Eagles, who had already secured qualification for next year's finals in Ghana, 43 minutes to open the scoring when Lazio's Stephen Makinwa tapped in unmarked at the back post after a shot from defender Taye Taiwo had been parried by Lesotho goalkeeper Kholuoe Phasumane.
Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel had his 60th minute penalty saved, hitting the ball into a puddle of water on the line and allowing the goalkeeper to pounce on it.
But substitute Uche grabbed a second 15 minutes from time as both teams battled to control the ball on the wet surface.
Nigeria were forced to leave out the Everton pair of Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Victor Anichebe, who both picked up injuries on the eve of the game. Anichebe had been set for his Super Eagles debut.
Also left out was Newcastle United Obafemi Martins, who returned home on Wednesday after telling officials his child was ill.