Premier League’s Iheanacho and Iwobi are Nigeria’s leading lights
Nigeria has provided a hotbed of Premier League talent over the years, but it is a pair of rising stars that are leading the attack for the Super Eagles’ new generation.
Nwankwo Kanu, Jay-Jay Okocha and Celestine Babayaro were the headline of previous Nigerian sides that lit up World Cups with flair and imagination.
But following years of decline after their triumph at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, the new standard bearers have been found to follow in their predecessors’ footsteps.
Manchester City and Arsenal starlets Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi started and scored in the 2-1 win over Zambia on Sunday.
It got the Super Eagles’ World Cup qualifying campaign for the 2018 tournament in Russia off to the perfect start, with Cameroon and Algeria drawing the other game in Group “B”.
With only the top placed teams from each group qualifying for the competition still two years away, Nigeria face tough opposition in the form of the Algerians, who greatly impressed at the 2014 World Cup.
But the narrow win in Ndola offered a tantalising glimpse of the future for head coach Gernot Rohr, who took over from Salisu Yusuf in August.
The Super Eagles have struggled since winning the 2013 Afcon in South Africa.