Nigerian striker Osaze Odemwingie scored for the third game running as Stoke City continued their impressive form with a 1-0 win over Hull City in the Premier League yesterday. Odemwingie scored in the 62nd minute at the Britannia Stadium, seizing on a loose pass from Hull wing-back Ahmed Elmohamady before drilling home from the edge of the box.
It was Stoke's third successive win, taking Mark Hughes's side to the 40-point mark synonymous with safety from relegation and leaving FA Cup semi-finalists Hull seven points above the bottom three in 14th place. It was not until shortly before half-time that Stoke first threatened, but Marko Arnautovic's tame low shot was comfortably saved by Harper. Harper had to save from Odemwingie early in the second half, before Begovic readjusted brilliantly to block a deflected effort from David Meyler at the other end, with Nikica Jelavic putting the rebound wide. Hull appeared to be taking control, but they had a hand in their own downfall as Stoke made the breakthrough with just under half-an-hour to play.
Elmohamady's ambitious crossfield pass went straight to Odemwingie, who tore through the Hull defence before beating Harper with a low shot. Odemwingie then threatened to add a second with an overhead kick that flew wide. Odemwingie is pushing for a place in Nigeria's World Cup squad after about two years in the wilderness due to indiscipline. He however recently apologized to officials of the Nigerian Football Federation and the coaching crew of the Super Eagles. With his recent impressive form and the utterances of Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi, Odemwingie is expected to be in the reckoning for the Eagles' challenge in Brazil in June.