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Abidjan
27/07/2013 15:00

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Nigeria secured a first time passage to the African Nations Championship despite losing to Ivory Coast

Posted: 27 July 2013 Time: 19:39

Nigeria secured a first time passage to the African Nations Championship despite losing 2-0 to an excellent Côte d'Ivoire team.

Needing three clear goals to advance, and with a noisy, heaving crowd behind them, the Elephants were quick off the blocks, as Zougoula and Cheick Moukouro raided down their left channel.

It did not take them long too threaten. Zougoula evaded three Nigerian defenders with a slick turn, and sent the ball wide out to Moukouro.

His cross was near perfect, until it was dealt with by Godfrey Oboabona. That was just four minutes in.

Two minutes later, they had the breakthrough. Azubuike Egwuekwe, under no pressure, sent a short back header to goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim.

The goalie was caught cold, in no man's land as he raced off his line to rescue the situation. Zougoula was quicker, toe-poked the ball underneath the keeper.

If the Robert Chambroux Stadium was noisy before, the goal turned it even more raucous.

Inspired by their early breakthrough, the Elephants pressed forward, contesting and winning the majority of the 50/50 balls as the Super Eagles laboured to get a foothold in the game.

Egwuekwe came inches close to making amends for his earlier error, but rose unmarked to head Gomo Onduku's cross over the bar.

Not long after, it was 2-0.

Solomon Kwambe cleared a short corner, but not far enough, and it fell to Zougoula with his back to goal.

Rabiu Ali, in his attempt to make a better clearance, took the forward with the ball. The referee pointed to the spot, Zougoula picked himself up and drilled past Agbim.

With elimination staring them in the face, the Super Eagles worked themselves back into the game, and Gomo Onduku tested the goalkeeper just before half-time.

If the first half clearly belonged to the Elephants, the second was edged by the Eagles.

As Sunday Mba's influence grew, so did the Nigerians' control of the game, although they did dodge a bullet early in the half when Zougoula escaped the attentions of Benjamin Francis and came face to face with Agbim. But the goalkeeper stood his ground, narrowed the angle and made a decisive save.

Substitute Alhaji Gero helped swing the attacking tide even further Nigeria's way when he came on for Onduku, and almost set up a chance for Mba with his first touch.

He came close in his own right when played clean through by Mba, but Mathias Kassi intervened just before Gero pulled the trigger.

Both sides found half chances but nothing clear cut. With time running out, Zougoula went down in the box under a challenge by Oboabona, but the referee waved his appeals away.

Nigeria held on and qualify 4-3 on aggregate to reach the finals for the first time.

Previous comments on this story...

atosandy
posted: 10:54 pm
Somebody was even expecting the eagles to beat Spain, and because of that he is now shifting base. If he likes, he can become Spaniard overnight. That is what colonial mentality has done to us. We don't know how to manage defeat. We only know how to win. As for me, i support whosoever that is coaching Nigeria, because i love Nigeria. In Keshi, i trust, but in some forumite i don't trust.
Anonymous
posted: 11:40 pm
@topstarz......................

@atosandy.................

RIDE ON....................

WHAT IS IMPORTANT MOST IS THE FINAL AGREEGATE SCORES.. NIGERIA 4 - 3 C:IVOIRE .

................WINING IS WINING...........

WISDOM IS LIKE HONEY............D'SKOOOL .
ZION 2
posted: 12:52 am
Thank God for giving us a coach like S. Okechukwu Keshi.
The fact is that we are through to ANC
I still cant figure out how some guys still believes in a coach that cost us our Nations cups ticket and nearly destroyed our SE with lots of fights b/w coach n players... tufiakwa!.. awaa!..

Anyway, Boss more works needs to be done and you know the areas. That Trophy must come to 9ja. God is our strength.
Anonymous
posted: 02:00 am
@topstarz......................

@atosandy.................

@ NAIJABREED

ONCE AGAIN RIDE ON ....................

WHAT IS IMPORTANT MOST IS THE FINAL AGREEGATE SCORES.. NIGERIA 4 - 3 C:IVOIRE .

................WINING IS WINING...........

WISDOM IS LIKE HONEY............D'SKOOOL .
Anonymous
posted: 05:26 am
Keshi has shown that he is the best coach for Eagles. Not only has he won ANC, he has broken another record and became the first coach to qualify Nigeria for CHAN. If not of keshi policy of local based players, I dont see us qualifying for this competition.

Congrats local based Super Eagles...Now lets go win CHAN. Nothing is impossible

Chuksrants!
Anonymous
posted: 07:37 am
@Nkita (Dog) what are you smoking? i think you are untelligent enough not to comment here.Keshi is one of the greatest coach that will come out of Nigeria in years to come.Siasia is a failure and should be left from your comment.Keshi will be the first coach in Africa to win both AFCON and CHAN at the same time, just mark my words.He should work on his defence and the attack formations, we are all behind your team, congract boys!..steve
NaijaBros
posted: 09:06 am
@Nkata what rubbish are you typing now? Let me remind you of something. AFCON final score Nigeria 1 - Burkina Faso 0. Keshi won the cup against all odds. Here is another reminder. Final AFCON qualifier for 2012 edition. Nigeria 2 - Guinea 2. Nigeria fails to qualify for the first time in decades. Time for a quiz, who was the coach of Nigeria at the time?

I'm a Siasia fan but we have to give credit where it is due. Keshi deserves credit. What Keshi has achieved in his few months as head coach is more than Siasia has achieved in his whole coaching career...The nations cup trophy. This is a fact and cannot be disputed so stop typing rubbish.
Mallam Ciroma
posted: 09:15 am
@Nkata, football is about winning trophies, and laurel.This play off was about qualifying for CHAN and the team got that!
To you, Siasia play flowing ball in the midfield, but no goals and trophies to show for it.Keshi is not your type of coach, but he is gradually pushing to become the best coach in Africa, if he eventually win the CHAN trophy which I think he is gunning for.
Brother, grow up and stop the hatred, as an Ibo man you should know that nobody quarrels with success.
udojoseph
posted: 10:45 am
I really marvel at the way som peeps talk,@apripah,u xpected us to beat spain?while @nkata hails Siasia wen he cudnt qualify d home base for same competition..holding d scoreline wen one goal wud hav made the difference is no easy feat,they did that,mind u history has jst been made yet again
edifugy
posted: 11:39 am
Start your comment hereI have come to realise that most Nigerians don't understand modern football. Taking a good look at the current super eagles, one will realise that they are no where near tactical. A good coach is judged by his results people would say, but basically you know a good coach from his selections, ability to read a game and make adequate substitution. It is unfortunate that people keep talking of Nigeria wining a Nation cup trophy that the never really didn't impress. A competition they needed too late penalty kicks to qualify from a group of african minors. It is clear that keshi is no where near tactical. He is occupying that position first of all for political reasons and secondly because some of the older generations of Nigerian supporters have refused to evolve with football. I am not anti-keshi but sincerely he has no technical input. The reason sia sia failed was that he had just one problem which affects even the best of coaches in the world(jose mourinho inclusive) 'ego'. Watching sia sia's eagles and comparing to what keshi is giving us, one will realise that the latter was more coordinated, had a style of play which was slowly evolving, and his magnificent impact substitution. Note! I am not calling for sia sia's return but sincerely, I think glo,mtn,or other sponsors could assist Nigeria to recruit a top quality coach like 'Guus hidnik'(forgive the spelling). Forget about next years world cup and target the 2018. Use our u-17, u-20 to build a formidable national team. It should be clearly stated, there are no real talents in our home base( those guys are old!). I rest my case.
Nkata Offor 1 of Igbo land
posted: 12:32 pm
@Anonymous THE COACH WHO LOSE TO GUINEA IS EGUAVON NOT SIASIA, IST LEG IS 1-0 AGAINST NIGERIA NOTE
Anonymous
posted: 06:47 pm
@edifugy responding to your comment is like dignifying you.I will only use one world - In football what count is results, all what you have written is arrant RUBBISH!!!..Steve
mystical
posted: 07:36 pm
Ffs when wld Nigerians learn to appreciate someting good. I'm sick and tired of pro-siasia fans trying to drag us back to our past failures. Now let me put it straight. Theoretically, the road pattern of success in football doesnt have to always end with a win or a big scoreline. I remember back in 2012, the championsleague round 16 game btw Ac milan & arsenal. Ac milan won the first leg convingsingly but arsenal pulled 3 back at the 2nd leg. It finished 4-3 on agg (ac milan the eventual winners). The point here is that although arsenal played better in the 2nd leg it doesnt make them better than ac milan when u look at the bigger picture. In this case Nigeria put their foot off the pedal after a marvellous first leg performance knowing they only needed to defend the score margin. Obviously, tactically nigeria approached game quite differently from their counter parts. They needed 3 unreplied goals to qualify. We needed to defend the score line. The game in football has always been the same. We held our ground and needed lucky breaks to score on the counter. We knew cote d ivoire wld throw everything at us. Bayern Munich went on to win the champions league after qualifying by the away goal rule against arsenal last season doesnt make Coach Heynkes mediocre. Pls for heavens sake allow Keshi to continue in the good work he has already started. We are no way near as good as spains level so i dnt expect us to be world beaters.With time we wld get there. if uve got good foresight and intellectual u wld see where im coming from. Peace!!! One Nigeria!!!
Nnewiman from Santa Monica
posted: 01:18 am
This nkata offor guy u too much 4your comments ha ha ha..sia sia is an offensive coach who's not afraid of losing a game while keshi is more defensive that know that what counts at the end of the day is the result so kesh is more professional and far better then sia sia in achievement ,take okocha and kanu for example who is more explosive player ,okocha of cause ,with all the dribble and stuff he didn't achieve half of what kanu won ..after one playing days are over what you remembered for is how many silver wear you have to show for it...
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