Caf Beach Soccer: Nigeria Edge Ghana To Seal Semi-Final spot
Two-time Caf Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations winners Nigeria did the necessary to qualify for the semi-finals as they beat Ghana 4-3 on Thursday.
Needing a win, in extra-time or normal-time, the hosts threw away their initial lead in a contest that saw the opening four goals come in the space of two third-period minutes.
Having battled back to lead going into the final three minutes, the Sand Eagles were again hauled level before Tale struck the winner a minute from time to take the Nigerians into the final four and one win away from next year’s Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup.
In an end-to-end opening period, Nigeria were largely on top. They sought to tie up their spot in the semi-finals, although goalkeeper Adeji in the Ghana goal proved up to the task early on.
At the other end, Ayalogu pulled off a wonderful double save to keep the score level before Abu struck the Ghanian upright.
With the goalkeepers impressing ahead of their outfield colleagues, the sides went into the final frame goalless amid high tension in Lagos.
The breakthrough eventually came when Emeka sidefooted a volley into the top corner, although the wild scenes in the stands at Eko Atlantic City were shortlived as Husseini also found the roof of the net shortly after.
Ghanaian forward Adjei completed the turnaround when he swivelled and shot low past Ayalogu but Emeka levelled for Nigeria as the game came to life.
Obodo’s penalty briefly put Nigeria back in front and, after Osa levelled from the restart, Tale collected Abu’s pass to rifle the winner home with less than two minutes left on the clock.