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).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: PSV/PCV & HGV Mechanics

£29000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: PSV/PCV Mechanics & HGV mechani...

Recruitment Genius: Reprographics Operator

£12500 - £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest independent Reprogr...

Recruitment Genius: Web Design Apprentice

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a well established websit...

Tradewind Recruitment: French & German Teacher

£120 - £145 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: French & German Teacher X2 Materni...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee