Nigeria secure Afcon 2013 ticket
Chelsea midfielder, John Mikel Obi returned to international football with a goal as Nigeria ran over ten-man Liberia 6-1 in a 2013 Afcon qualifying in Calabar on Saturday.
It was Mikel's first appearance for Nigeria in a year and under Stephen Keshi since he took charge in November 2011.
Efe Ambrose, Ahmed Musa, Ikechukwu Uche and a double from Victor Moses saw off the Liberians, who got a consolation from Patrick Wleh.
After a minute of silence for the grieving families of the Mubi massacre, undergraduates killed in Aluu and flood victims, it was the Nigerians who took the initiative with an early goal.
On 58 seconds, Celtic defender, Ambrose rose highest to nod away from Moses' free kick.
Liberia's Lone Star came back fighting with Zah Kranger firing Tonia Tisdell's cross from the left channel wide on three minutes.
Kaetu Smith's Lone Star continued to push for an equaliser and came close on 34 minutes when Sekou Jabateh Oliseh's shot from 25 yards was tipped away by Nigeria's Vincent Enyeama for a corner.
But four minutes later, Musa squeezed his way into the six-yard box to side-foot home Nigeria's second goal from Emmanuel Emenike's low cross.
Just before the break, Nosa Igiebor missed the chance to put Nigeria three-nil up from six yards via Musa's corner kick.
The Super Eagles were ruthless in the business end of the game, as Igiebor set up Moses out of nothing and the Chelsea man made no error by shooting it in hard and low after an initial clearance by the Liberians.
Inside six minutes of the restart, Igiebor won a spot kick after the Liberian goalkeeper, Nathaniel Sherman upended him in the box.
The often vilified Mikel, who had a banner in his support in the stands at the UJ Esuene Stadium screaming 'Mikel Obi the pride of Nigeria,' made no mistake by converting the spot kick for his team's fourth goal.
Nigeria took charge of the game from there but on 68 minutes, Liberia had a chance but instead their captain, George Gebro opted for a simulation and was sent off by South African referee, Daniel Bennett.
Four minutes later, substitute Ikechukwu Uche scored by slipping the ball underneath Sherman after a pass from Musa on the edge of the box.
The Super Eagles then resorted to show-boating before Patrick Wleh got the better of centre-back Azubuike Egwuekwe to poke the ball past Enyeama for the Lone Star's consolation.
SS Lazio man, Ogenyi Onazi missed the chance to get a debut goal by shooting horribly off target from inside the box.
But Nigeria capped a fine day in the office with a goal made in Chelsea as Moses nodded the ball past a stranded Sherman from Mikel's perfect cross in the 87th minute to make it six.
The result sends Stephen Keshi's men to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa on 8-3 aggregate, as it will be the third nation he will guide to the Afcon after Togo and Mali.