Nigeria qualified for the FIFA World Cup play-offs after comfortably defeating Malawi 2-0 to finish top of Group F on Saturday.
The home side came into the match knowing that anything other than a defeat would see them advance to the final stage of African qualification, with Malawi needing three points if they were to keep their slim hopes alive.
Victory for the African champions never looked in doubt as they showcased some entertaining football and claimed maximum points thanks to a well-worked goal from Emmanuel Emenike and a penalty from Victor Moses, as Malawi finished the game with 10 men.
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi named three changes from the team's last qualifier against Namibia in June as Emenike, Moses and Azubuike Egwuekwe came in for Kenneth Omeruo, Sunday Mba and Anthony Ujah.
Second-placed Malawi also last played a qualifier in June as they were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Kenya thanks to Moses Chavula's own goal, but the 28-year-old was one of six players to keep his place in the team, with manager Tom Saintfiet making five changes.
The hosts took control of the match early on and spent most of their time in the attacking third, but for all their encouraging play they struggled to get shots on target as Ahmed Musa fired over from close range after Malawi failed to clear a corner.
Malawi showed attacking initiative when trying to catch Nigeria on the counter-attack, but Keshi’s defenders proved to be up to the challenge, while right-back Efe Ambrose almost broke the deadlock as he headed wide after beating goalkeeper Charles Swini to Moses' corner.
Ambrose was proving to be a threat and he had an opportunity in the final 10 minutes of the first half as he skipped past a defender down the right before firing at goal, forcing Swini into a good save.
Malawi looked as though they would be heading into the break level, but Emenike had other plans as he darted into the area, controlled Ogenyi Onazi's fantastic lofted pass from deep and lifted the ball over the approaching Swini for a half-time lead.
Nigeria began the second half at a ferocious speed and after early chances for Musa and Emenike, they extended their lead from the penalty spot. Nnamdi Oduamadi won the decision after linking up with Musa, and Moses calmly stroked home from the spot.
The visitors' nightmare start to the second half got even worse in the 53rd minute as Limbikani Mzava callously hacked Musa down just outside the area, picking up his second yellow card after earning a cheap booking at the beginning of the match.
Emenike should have doubled his tally with 15 minutes remaining, but after excellent work by Musa on the left wing the Fenerbahce man somehow managed to divert the ball over the goal from a few yards out.
|J. Obi Mikel|
|E. Emenike||45+1' 77'|
|Coach: S. Keshi|
for V. Moses 71'
for E. Emenike 84'
for N. Oduamadi 88'
|Everton profited from ´harsh´ refereeing, claims Delaney|
|We will get much better, Guardiola warns rivals|
|Ibrahimovic turned down €100m China deal - Raiola|
|Everton 1 Crystal Palace 1: Benteke cancels out Lukaku opener|
|Rashford looking to emulate Ronaldo at Manchester United|
|Managers given bad name by Allardyce scandal - Moyes|
|Pagliara claims he lied to Telegraph over bungs|
|Dyche excited by Arsenal challenge|
|Mazzarri wary of unleashing Success until he is fully fit|
|Moyes stands by criticism of players|
|Guardiola marvels at amazing Ryder Cup experience|
|Mathieu and Deschamps ´exchange´ gives Mangala recall|
|Retirement threat just ´erratic´ Tevez being dramatic - Joorabchian|
|Dani Alves wants Champions League glory with Juventus|
|Guardiola: Football fans can enjoy Tottenham|
|Ranieri calls for consistency from Leicester|
|Low missing out on ´dream´ player in Castro - Tuchel|
|Mata: I never had problems with Mourinho|
|Conte wants failures to motivate Chelsea|
|Pochettino rules out ´impossible´ England switch|
|Emery pleased with Ben Arfa attitude|
|Gundogan returns for Germany after lengthy absence|
|Terry out again as Chelsea prepare for Hull|
|Hasselbaink refutes corruption allegations|
|Robben to start against Cologne, suggests Ancelotti|
|Prolific Callejon called into Spain squad|
|Hull City offer ´keeps changing´ - Phelan|
|Krueger: Black allegations do not directly affect Southampton|
|Wenger optimistic over Coquelin recovery|
|Hughes focused after Mourinho backing|
|Wenger open to England job|
|Klopp eyes retirement before 60|
|Wenger the pioneer battles on within his own legacy|
|Lukaku: I am not on Suarez´s level yet|
|Ibrahimovic is tremendous even if he does not score - Mourinho|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Olimpia, Honduras Progreso claim key wins|
|Astra expected hungover Roma - Spalletti|
|United fixture list a ´poisoned gift´ - Mourinho|
|Ronaldo back for ´stronger´ Portugal|
|Dembele can be next Drogba - Rodgers|
|Mourinho wanted Pogba at Chelsea, says Raiola|
|Puel pleased with ´good point´ in Israel|
|Mourinho not ´over the moon´ with United wins|
|Southampton investigating Eric Black allegations|
|Rodgers: Celtic would challenge at the top in England|
|Ibrahimovic expects more from United|
|Manchester United 1 Zorya 0: Ibrahimovic header earns Mourinho´s men narrow win|
|De Boer blasts Inter for lack of focus|
|Zarate reveals message to ill wife after goalscoring return|
|Raffael suffers fresh injury setback|
|Hapoel Be´er Sheva 0 Southampton 0: Saints´ winning run comes to an end|
|Sparta Prague 3 Inter 1: De Boer´s side humbled in Europa League again|
|Police to review corruption allegations after Telegraph sting|
|Brady hails Wenger as ´possibly the best ever´ Gunners boss|
|Yacob signs new West Brom deal|
|Guidolin prioritising Swansea improvement over his future|
|Sakho outburst has been dealt with – Klopp|
|Bilic sorry for Allardyce in ´very sad´ week for English football|
|Laporte saga nears conclusion as defender earns France call-up|
|Everton are exceeding expectations – Koeman|
|Wenger could be tempted by an international offer, says ex-assistant|
|No excuses for Liverpool this time, says Klopp|
|Rashford left out of England Under-21 squad|
|Boro must pick up where they left off - Karanka|
|Matuidi could still join Juventus, says Raiola|
|Pardew anticipates battle of the Belgians|
|Legia Warsaw to face Real Madrid behind closed doors|
|England job would be the pinnacle - Pardew|
|Wright sacked by Barnsley|
|Bilic defends West Ham team night out|
|Ramsey withdrawal was Arsenal´s call - Coleman|
|LMA demand ´immediate full disclosure´ of corruption evidence|
|´My answer would be a big fat no´ - Coleman rules out taking England job|
|Leeds dismiss Cellino sting as ´non-story´|
|Gabigol, Rashford and Sanches among Golden Boy nominees|
|Keane slams Arsenal: Half their players will have gloves on soon|
|´Special´ Man City draw a career highlight, says Gordon|
|Southgate admits England situation is ´not ideal´|
|England should have gone for O´Neill, says Shilton|
|PSG´s powers of recovery impress Cavani|
|Howe ´absolutely committed´ to Bournemouth amid England links|
|Man City proved character against Celtic, says Zabaleta|
|Walcott: Sanchez partnership bodes well for Arsenal´s season|
|MLS Review: DC, Impact on track for play-offs|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Tigres, Dallas left waiting|
|Central Sanchez pleases Wenger|
|Barca felt Messi absence - Busquets|
|Martino knew Messi would come out of retirement|
|Shilton never convinced by Allardyce|
|Degenek replaced by Giannou for Socceroos|
|Griezmann will still take penalties - Simeone|
|Simeone proud of ´one of the best´ wins|
|Godin suffers sprained ankle ligament|
|West Ham receive positive news over injured duo|
|Robson: Four wins for Southgate and he´s an England contender|
|Gunes rues Besiktas´ inability to see off Dynamo|
|Sarri: Late goals leave bitter taste|
|Borussia Monchengladbach were exceptional against Barcelona, feels Schubert|
|PSG must be patient, says Emery|
|Celtic are lucky to have Dembele - Rodgers|
|I´m completely focused on Arsenal, insists Wenger amid England talk|