CHAN EAGLES FIGHT THEIR WAY INTO FINALS OF TOURNAMENT
Sometimes in a football game, a team will not be at its best. There will be days where the flow just won’t be there, no cohesion, nothing. Rather than capitulate at the poor state of things a good team will try to revert back to the basics. Leave the adventurous part of their game and just try to find a way to not make mistakes. Even at that, if all else fails, that day must also be a day when the team’s goal keeper has a blinder.Last night was an example of that kind of night for the CHAN eagles. They were not at their Best but 2 things saved them. They reverted to the basics, helping each other proving they are a well oiled team and their goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye showed he is a top keeper. The Sudanese had chance upon Chance but were denied by either the poor final ball or blinding Goalkeeping Master class from Ajiboye.
Gabriel Okechukwu the new star of the side grabbed the lone goal when he beat goalkeeper Elhadi Akram from close range with a low shot in the 17th minute.Okechukwu came close to bagging a brace in the 25th minute when his left-footed shot sailed inches wide of Akram’s left corner.
Substitute goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye, who came in for injured Ifeanyi Ezenwa, kept the home Super Eagles in the game after producing two brilliant saves in the 90th minute to ensure they are through to the final.
Sudan should have equalised in the 55th minute following a brilliant interchange of passes but Ajiboye got down well to make the save.
In the 58th minute, Ifeanyi was shown a second yellow card and was sent off for a dangerous tackle.
Sudan had a chance to level scores in the 65th minute after Suleiman Omer found himself facing the Nigerian goal but misfired.
Ajiboye was called to make a save again in the 76th minute as he got down well to stop a long range strike from going in.
Substitute Ibrahim Mustapha connected with a header off Okoro’s set piece but his effort went wide with just over 10 minutes left.
Sudan had two good chances in the 84th minute but were first denied by Ajiboye who made a one-handed save from close range before Okoro made a goal line clearance.
Sudan were reduced to 10 men in the 87th minute after Bakri Bachir was shown a straight red card for tripping Ojo who was goal-bound.
From the resultant free-kick, Okoro saw his well struck effort go inches off target.
Sudan almost drew level in the 91st minute but Ajiboye made a superb flying save tipping the ball over the bar for a corner.
They would be meeting Morocco, who had earlier qualified for the final after an impressive 3 – 1 victory over Libya.