Leicester City’s forward Ahmed Musa’s superb second-half brace secured Nigeria a priceless 2-0 victory over Iceland to keep their World Cup dreams alive.
After a tight first half of few chances at Volgograd Arena, Musa controlled a Victor Moses cross with a fine first touch before blasting the ball high into the net four minutes after the restart.
With Iceland stretched trying to get back into the game, Musa – after having just hit the crossbar – showed lightning pace to get in behind the defence and round goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson before finishing into an empty net to seal the win.
Iceland had a golden opportunity to get back into the game eight minutes from time after referee Matthew Conger awarded a penalty following a VAR review, but Gylfi Sigurdsson blazed the spot-kick over the bar.
But Nigeria opened their first attack in the second half with a long-range shot, showing a greater directness.
The breakthrough came just two minutes later when Victor Moses found himself on the right flank after a sweeping counter-attack and crossed it to Ahmed Musa, who flicked the ball up and lashed it past Hannes Haldorson.
And while Iceland needed the goal, it was Nigeria that was now playing with freedom and confidence, exemplified by Musa, who ran into the area from the flank, rounded the keeper, a stroked a sweet finish into the top corner, to give the Super Eagles a cushion.
Iceland got a glimmer of hope with a late penalty, but the normally clinical Gylfi Sigurdsson put the ball well over the bar in a hopelessly misconceived attempt.