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Eagles overwhelm Elephants, on course for African Nations Championship (CHAN): Nigeria 4, Ivory Coast 1

By News Express on 06/07/2013

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It was an evening to remember for football fans who thronged the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna, North-West Nigeria, to watch the home-based Super Eagles take on their Ivory Coast counterparts, the Elephants, in a crucial African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier.

Apart from playing delightful football, the Eagles overwhelmed the visitors, winning 4-1 to put themselves in good stead to qualify for the 2014 CHAN to be hosted by South Africa.

The Eagles, parading several mainstream team players such as Sunday Mba, Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwueke, Mohammed Gambo and goalie/skipper Chigozie Agbim, grabbed two goals in the first half and another two in the second stanza. The visitors’ only goal came in the dying minutes of the first half.

The goal margin would have been more if not for missed chances and Gambo’s second goal controversially cancelled by the referee in the first half for alleged off-side. Rough-tackling further compounded the problem of the Ivorians as they were reduced to nine men from shortly after the restart.

The Ivorians now face an uphill task of overturning the deficit in the return leg as the players they paraded today do not seem to possess the legs to beat the Eagles by three unreplied goals.

Nigeria has never qualified for the CHAN, a national championship restricted to home-based players – as opposed to the Africa Cup of Nations (ACN) open to both local and foreign-based players. But “jinx” appears set to be broken under Coach Stephen Keshi who led Nigeria to win the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa in February.

Photo: Sunday Mba, who put up a five-star performance in the match.

Source News Express

Posted 06/07/2013 10:29:55 PM

 

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