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25/01/2014 17:00

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Nigeria beat Morocco in African Nations Championship quarter-final

Posted: 25 January 2014 Time: 19:35

Nigeria came from three goals down at half-time to beat Morocco 4-3 in extra-time in the African Nations Championship quarter-final played at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday evening.

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Nigeria’s goals were scored by Ugonna Uzochukwu, Rabiu Ali, Ejike Uzoenyi and Abubakar Ibrahim while the Morocco goals were scored by a Mohsine Moutaouali brace and one by Iajour Mouhssine.

The game started in frantic fashion as a shot from Mouhssine forced Agbim to make a fine save inside the opening minute, after the Moroccan broke in from the right flank. But Nigeria responded later, when Ugonna Uzochukwu headed a free-kick from Ejike Uzoenyi wide.

A timely block by Obanor prevented Morocco from scoring in the 15th minute through the impressive El Ouadi who shot at goal after a neat one-two with a teammate.

At the other end, Ifeanyi Ede wasted a chance to put Nigeria in front as he chose to shot into the side-netting instead of passing squaring the ball to a better positioned Uzoenyi in the 18th minute. Gbolahan Salami forced Nadir in Morocco's goal to make a finger-tipped save after heading a cross from Uzoenyi on target.

Both sides continued to search for an opener with Morocco looking more threatening, so it was no surprise when they took the lead through Moutaouali in the 33rd minute as he lobbed the ball over Agbim who was left exposed and forced to come off his line after Nigeria lost possession in midfield.

Salami had a chance to level the scores three minutes later but the 3SC frontman blasted his shot wide.

Nigeria were made to pay when Mouhssine Iajour curled in a direct free-kick in the 37th minute after Bright Esieme gave away a free-kick on the edge of the area.

The Moroccans extended their lead three minutes later as Moutaouali scored his second goal of the game after shooting from outside the box, to give the North Africans a comfortable lead going into the break.

Ugonna pulled a goal back for Nigeria in the 49th minute, as his shot from distance following terrific chest control found its way in, after good work from Uzoenyi.

The goal appeared to spark the Super Eagles into action as their general play improved.

Rabiu Ali continued Nigeria's comeback with a goal in the 56th minute as he shot into the bottom corner after a knockdown from Barnabas Imenger, who came on for Salami moments earlier.

Nigeria completed her comeback Uzoenyi in the 90th minute, after the Enugu Rangers wingers equalized to force extra-time.

Abubakar Ibrahim scored the winner in the 111th minute after capitalizing on Nadir's poor handling of a cross from Uzoenyi.

Nigeria's coach Stephen Keshi immediately made defensive changes to the team, as he brought on Umar Zango for the already over-worked Shehu, as Nigeria battled and managed to hold onto their lead till the end of the game.

Nigeria XI: Agbim; Ugonna, Odunlami, Egwuekwe,Uzoenyi, Rabiu Ali, Salami ( Imenger 50’), Esieme, Shehu (Zango 113’), Ede (Ibrahim 63’), Obanor

Livefyre comments on this story...

omiracel
posted: 2014-01-25 17:42:32

Like as I have said, they have a good coach and players who are hungry to make name for themselves and above all make their Country proud

Mgqwabeni
posted: 2014-01-25 17:42:57

Pitso must sell Malajila,Wome,Laffor and buy that Nigerian boy No7 Christian Uzoenyi before Bacelona can take him because that is where he belongs as far as I see he can replace Messi.

harriman chiedozie
posted: 2014-01-25 17:46:45

Good comeback. Great game

omiracel
posted: 2014-01-25 17:47:16

Christian Uzoenyi is the new Messi of Africa and I quite support you Mgqwabeni. We need him in SD team to help us win the league

odafe
posted: 2014-01-25 17:53:04

uzoeyin world cup bound..... very certain of him making it to brazil but will be glad to see him play for a big club in europe he has the qualities of a great player..... wao what a game. congrats nigeria.

FatherKay
posted: 2014-01-25 17:55:59

Nigerians just taught South Africans how to fight back.

It not over until it is over!


Thanks be to God for this sweet victory and congratulations to every Nigerian who kept faith in the team and prayed for their success.

2nday1
posted: 2014-01-25 18:03:18

Keshi: I told the boys at HT that this is not us, showing too much respect for Morocco and they said 'We are not going home tonight!

Complete
posted: 2014-01-25 18:06:52

What a match!Honestly, the outcome of the match is a lesson to all of us (Nigerians, South Africans, Ghanaian, Congolese , Burkinabes etc): Never quit in the midst of daunting challenges: it is not over until it is over. This is the fighting spirit Nigerians ( and many Africans ) possess. Congrats Nigeria. Kudos also to the Moroccans, they fought a good battle: it is just unfortunate that one of the two Teams must exit. The game was a fine showcase of African talents. Congratulations to all the Players.

tonydaymn
posted: 2014-01-25 18:10:37

up naijaaaa

gift6
posted: 2014-01-25 18:12:44

Wow wow wow wat a game,congrats to the Nigerians

STEP UP YOUR GAME PLSSSSSSSSSSS
posted: 2014-01-25 18:15:56

thx

bakafan
posted: 2014-01-25 18:23:50

Ejike Uzoenyi a rising African Star. (Magical Star)

charles5480
posted: 2014-01-25 18:23:57

This is match is tension socked. In the first half, we find it difficult to cope whit their pace and dribbling skills, our right and left back were beaten all the time, the defense was shambolic and all over the place, too slow to react exposing their goal keeper.

After conceding the first goal, they were not composed and they conceded more as a result. Second half was approached with a positive attitude, ball was moved quickly. In the end God of soccer is Nigerian today. Congratulations to the entire team for the job done.

Fashion4
posted: 2014-01-25 18:34:18

all seven goals 2 the same pole and direction...magic

hey66
posted: 2014-01-25 18:36:51

Up bafan bafana

Maruler
posted: 2014-01-25 19:00:34

Wow!

Nietszche
posted: 2014-01-25 19:02:12

If they score 3 we score 4

Calendar
posted: 2014-01-25 19:21:59

Where are those loud midgets who never see anything gud in naija? Pathetic morons!

Re@l Trizzy
posted: 2014-01-25 19:29:10

@Calendar, all the midgets are at parktown hating as usual.

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