We’re up to 12 teams that are assured a place in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, as Nigeria become the first side from Africa to qualify.
The Super Eagles clinched their spot following a 1-0 win over Zambia, promising them the 1st place in Group B of the third and final round in the CAF qualifiers. Nigeria were drawn into a difficult group that included Cameroon and Algeria alongside Zambia, but after 5 matches they’ve yet to be defeated, winning four of their contests. The only loss of points came in an understandable draw away from home against Cameroon.
Alex Iwobi of Arsenal scored the only goal for Nigeria, his second goal for the team at this stage, tied alongside John Obi Mikel and Kelechi Iheanacho, each with two as well. They have one match remaining, playing in Algeria, who they beat 3-1 in Uyo 11 months ago with goals by Victor Moses (2) and Mikel.
This will be the fifth World Cup for Nigeria, appearing in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014. In 1994, 1998 and three years ago in Brazil, they made the round of 16. Last time around they faced France, losing 2-0.
Other sides already qualified for the tournament:
- Asia: South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Japan
- Europe: Russia, Germany, England, Belgium, Spain
- North America: Mexico
- South America: Brazil