Football: Nigeria give notice with show of power: World Cup

Bulgaria. 0

Nigeria. .3

NIGERIA showed all the style, pace and panache associated with the modern African game in destroying Bulgaria's hopes of securing their first victory in their sixth appearance in the World Cup finals.

Goals by Rashidi Yekini, Daniel Amokachi and Emmanuel Amunike allowed the Nigerians to control their opening Group D match at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

It might have been different if either Emil Kostadinov or Hristo Stoichkov had capitalised on early chances the Bulgarians created on the break as the African champions committed themselves to attack but once Yekini had opened the scoring after 21 minutes there was little doubt about the outcome.

Finidi George, a constant threat down the right, set up Yekini with a simple goal, keeping his head after cutting in and playing the ball square to Nigeria's leading scorer.

Bulgaria's response was disjointed but they had a shot by Yordan Lechkov cleared off the line and had the ball in the net in the 37th minute when Stoichkov swept a left-footed free-kick into the top corner from 30 yards. He had not realised the kick was indirect and gained nothing but admiration for his effort.

Two minutes before the interval, and just after Amunike had languidly driven a 25-yard shot against Boris Mikhailov's far post, the Nigerians doubled their lead. Yekini again exposed the Bulgarians on the right and Amokachi fought Zlatko Yankov off the ball to score.

Amunike headed in the third 10 minutes after the interval when George caught the Bulgarians napping by crossing the ball back in from the right after Mikhailov had blocked Yekini in full flight.

BULGARIA (1-3-4-2): Mikhailov (Mulhouse); Hubchev (Levski Sofia); Kremenliev (Levski Sofia), Ivanov (Neuchatel Xamax), Zvetanov (Levski Sofia); Balakov (Sporting Lisbon), Yankov (Levski Sofia), Lechkov (Hamburg), Borimirov (Leski Sofia); Stoichkov (Barcelona), Kostadinov (Porto). Substitutes: Sirakov (Levski Sofia) for Lechkov, 58; Iordanov (Sporting Lisbon) for Borimirov, 72.

NIGERIA (4-4-3): Rufai (Go Ahead Eagles); Eguavoen (Kortrijk), Iroha (Vitesse Arnhem), Nwanu (Anderlecht), Okechukwu (Fenerbahce); George (Ajax), Oliseh (Reggiana), Siasia (Nantes); Amokachi (Club Bruges), Yekini (Olympiakos), Amunike (MSV Duisburg). Substitutes: Adepoju (Racing Santander) for Siasia, 68; Ezeugo (Kispest Honved) for George, 77.

Referee: R Badilla Sequeira (Costa Rica).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron appeal to the audience during the Question Time special
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living