Nigeria beat Egypt 3-2 in the penultimate match of the African Nations Cup soccer tournament in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Sunday (14 March).
Nigeria beat Egypt 3-2 in the penultimate match of the African Nations Cup soccer tournament in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Sunday (14 March). The Nigerians' win came as a surprise because they looked the lesser team for much of the match.
Later the same day Morocco held Guinea to a one-all draw, and so became outright winners of the Cup, with Guinea in second place. The result of the Nigeria-Egypt match meant that Nigeria ended in third place with Egypt fourth.
During the earlier match, the Egyptian forwards made better use of the field, and they opened the scoring after only eight minutes when Mohamed el-Katabi took a high ball from Ibrahim Yousef on the right wing, and hit a high left footed shot into the net.
The Nigerians played poorly, failing to find their men wit weak passes. So it was against the run of play that Nigeria's Ilerika Haruna hit a great free kick over a wall of Egyptian players to equalise in the 35th minute.
Yet the first halt was unquestionably Egypt's when Osman Khakik scored an easy goal after taking a neat pass from el-Katabi in the 43th minute.
In the opening minutes of the second half, el-Katabi missed a great opportunity to go further ahead, and the Nigerians then took advantage of their opponents' apparent relaxed mood. Haruna took a fine cross from Umudashiru on the left wing, to equalise from close in front of the net.
The Egyptians seemed to lack the resolution they had shown in the first half, and Nigeria's winning goal came in the 86th minute. Mudashiru made a fine solo run down the left wing. He beat goal-keeper Ibrahim el-Shahat, and dribbled his way round a defender, to hit the ball from the narrowest of angles into the net.
SYNOPSIS: Sunday was the final day of the African Nations Cup soccer tournament in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, and the first of the two finals was between Egypt and Nigeria. Egypt, in the dark shirts, began as odds-on favourites on the strength of their past performances.
For much of the first half the Egyptians seemed to confirm that judgement. The Nigerians looked decidedly the lesser team, with the Egyptian forwards making better use of the field. Egypt opened the scoring after only eight minutes, when Mohamed el-Katabi took a high ball from Ibrahim yousef on the right wing.
Their second goal also came in the first half when Osman Khakik took a neat pass from el-Katabi and scored an easy goal.
But the turning point for Nigeria came with this great free kick by Ilerika Haruna.
The second half began with the score standing at two-one in Egypt's favour. But the Nigerians now felt they could win, and the equaliser soon came from Haruna, after a fine cross from Umudashiru on the left wing.
In the opening minutes of the second half, el-Katabi had missed a great opportunity for Egypt to go further ahead. Now with the score two-all the Nigerians took their chance with a fine solo run from Mudashiru who made it three-two.
Morocco's draw against Guinea later in the day, meant that Nigeria finished third and Egypt fourth.