Posted by Adeyinka Akintunde, Lagos | 26 January 2016 | 4,486 times
The Super Eagles of Nigeria minutes ago crashed out of the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) for home-based players following their defeat by Syli Stars of Guinea at the Rubavu Stadium in Rwanda. A solitary goal from Ibrahima Sankhon was enough to break the hearts of Coach Sunday Oliseh and his boys.
Nigeria dropped leading scorer Chisom Chikatara to the bench for the more physical Tunde Adeniji with Jamiu Alimi returning to the starting eleven after a disastrous showing against Niger.
Guinea on their part dropped skipper Ibrahima Sory Bangoura for the clash against Nigeria with two other changes in their start list. Bangoura was replaced by Alseny Bangoura in the Syli Stars starting eleven. Midfielders Aboubacar Sylla and Jean Mouste were replaced by Ibrahima Sory Soumah and Mohamed Thaim. It was Thaim’s first start in this competition.
Guinea began the match the better side, forcing Nigeria to defend throughout. On 18 minutes, Akas threw a free-kick wide, as Guinea kept terrorising the Nigerian defence. Usman Mohammed also missed a sitter for Nigeria.
On 44 minutes Ibrahima Sankhon got a pass from the right side which he converted to give Guinea the lead.
Chikatara was introduced early in the second half, but the Guineans checkmated him and further employed time-wasting to frustrate their opponents, who needed a draw to sail into the quarter-finals.
In the other Group C match, Tunisia massacred Niger republic 5-0 to top the group, with Guinea picking the second ticket.
Nigeria debuted at the last CHAN, with former coach Stephen Keshi in charge, and returned home with the bronze. The performance of Oliseh and his boys, therefore, represent a big leap backwards for Africa’s one-time football power house.
•Photo courtesy of Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix shows Alseny Camara of Guinea taking on Jamiu Alimi of Nigeria during this afternoon’s 2016 CHAN game at Rubavu Stadium, Rubavu, Rwanda, which Nigeria lost 0-1 to exit the championship.
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