KUNLE SOLAJA, RABAT.
Nigeria’s Flying Eagles twice came from behind to force a 2-2 draw with hosts, Morocco to pick a semi-final ticket at the football event of the 12th African Games at FAR Sports Complex Rabat.
Nigeria’s two goals were scored late in either halves of the game.
The draw however put the team behind Burkina Faso who whitewashed hapless South Africa to confirm their leadership of Group A. While Nigeria finished with five points in the group, Burkina Faso have seven from three matches.
Nigeria’s U20 boys, Flying Eagles, qualified for the semifinals of the men’s football event of the 12th African Games after a hard fought 2-2 draw with hosts Morocco on Friday evening at the FAR Sports Complex Rabat.
It was not an easy day for the Flying Eagles who stumbled in the 12th minute when Mohsinne Abba scored.
It was the first time that Morocco had scored in the series having gained a walkover in their opening game with South Africa and fell 0-2 to Burkina Faso in their second game.
They pressed very hard, as it appeared the Flying Eagles were destined to be grounded. But as the first half wore out, the Flying Eagles started gaining momentum.
Almost at the dot of regulation time in the first half, Ahmad Ghali who had scored against Burkina Faso and South Africa in earlier matches was brought down in the penalty box.
Skipper Ibrahim Abubakar scored from the penalty spot after Moroccan goalkeeper, Mohssine Abba, saved his initial effort.
The reprieve that the late first half equalizer brought was punctuated in the 54th minute when Habibu Yakubu handled the ball in Nigeria’s penalty box. Ismail Moutaraji converted the penalty kick and it appeared elimination was imminent for Nigeria.
The introduction of Chinonso Emeka changed the complexion of the game. He scored the backbreaking goal that eliminated Morocco form the series.