John Mikel Obi and Victor Moses helped Nigeria cruise into the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations with a 6-1 win over Liberia on Saturday afternoon.
Both Chelsea men found the net too. Moses caused Liberia many problems early on and crossed for Celtic’s Efe Ambrose to head an early goal and then scored the third himself. Mikel, who was playing his first international under coach Stephen Keshi, who took over in November , scored a penalty he helped to win to make it 4-0 and had a hugely influential game.
Liberia pulled a goal back 10 minutes from the end to make it 5-1 but seven minutes later, Moses head in his second goal from a Mikel cross.
The match was the second leg of a play-off with Nigeria winning 8-3 on aggregate, the first leg in Liberia having ended in a 2-2 draw. Moses played in that match.
He and Mikel are now set for time away from Chelsea early in the new year. The Africa Cup of Nations finals will take place between 19 January and 10 February.
They are being held for consecutive years to change the sequence so it no longer corresponds with World Cup years. The following tournament will be in 2015.
This season’s finals are in South Africa having been moved from the original choice of Libya.