Super Eagles star Taiwo Awoniyi was on the scoresheet for Nottingham Forest as they trounced Championship side Blackburn Rovers 4-1 in their first official match of the second half of the season. The Reds have booked their passage to the quarterfinals of the Carabao Cup following the win.
After a rough first half of the season, Nottingham Forest, like every other team, enjoyed a few weeks of training and friendlies. They needed to show their training ground work and the first opportunity came in their Carabao Cup Round of 16 clash against Blackburn.
The Reds needed only 13 minutes to open the scoring after Welsh forward Brennan Johnson made his way into the box before he was felled by a defender. He dusted himself off before firing the resulting penalty into the back of the net.
With halftime approaching, Blackburn Rovers drew level through Scott Wharton in the 44th minute. The defender headed home a pinpoint freekick from Adam Wharton to send the sides into the break level.
After emerging for the second half, it took the Reds only nine minutes to retake the lead as Jesse Lingard fired home from distance via a deflection. The English forward then turned provider for Taiwo Awoniyi in the 79th minute.
Lingard played a pass into the channel for Awonyi to latch onto, and the Super Eagles star held off Wharton, showing great strength. He then showed impressive composure to fire home at the far post when faced by the goalkeeper.
Nottingham Forest rounded off the scoring in added time as Johnson burst into the penalty area before firing an effort past the goalkeeper.
The Reds have now progressed to the last eight of the Carabao Cup for the first time since 1994, 28 years ago. They join Manchester United, Charlton Athletic, Leicester City, Newcastle United, Southampton, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City/Liverpool in the last eight draw.