Nigeria's national soccer team, Green Eagles, beat Morocco 3-1 in Lagos on Saturday (3 April).?
Nigeria's national soccer team, Green Eagles, beat Morocco 3-1 in Lagos on Saturday (3 April). The match was the first leg of the teams Olympic qualification series.
The scoring opened in the first half, following a corner taken by Mudashiru Lawal. A header by Thompson Usiyan gave Nigeria their first goal.
The other three goals all came in the second half - the first, only three minutes after the re-start. A cross from Haruna Llerika found Usiyan waiting to put the ball into the back of the Moroccan net for his second goal.
Morocco were determined not to be over-run though. A strong effort by their forwards put the pressure on Nigeria's defence and rewarded them with a corner. As the ball came across the Nigerian goal, the defence could not manage to clear it and Morocco's inside-right Mustapha, headed the ball home for his country's only goal.
The goal brought the Moroccans right back into the match. But the "Eagles" seemed determined to take a good lead with them to the second leg of the qualification series - to be held on 17 April in Rabat, Morocco's capital.
Nigeria made sure of their victory when Kelechi Emetole nodded the ball into the net, after a long throw-in from team-mate Ekeji.
Morocco's defeat came three weeks after they won the African Nations Soccer Cup. In that competition Nigeria had finished third.
SYNOPSIS: Nigeria - playing from right to left kicked off at the start of their Olympic qualifying match with Morocco. The match, in the Lagos National Stadium, was the first of a two-leg series. The second leg will be held in Rabat - Morocco's capital - on 17 April. The overall winner will then compete in the Montreal Olympics in July.
In the fourteenth minute, Nigeria forced the Moroccans to concede a corner. Mudashiru Lawal came up from midfield to take it.
Thompson Usiyan was waiting to head the ball into the net for Nigeria's first goal.
Morocco kicked-off at the start of the second half, but were soon in trouble again. Nigerian left winger, Haruna Llerika, began a dangerous move on the left wing.
A cross ball-and centre forward Thompson was there for his second goal. The crowd went wild with excitement. Only two weeks ago Morocco were the winners of the African Nations Soccer Cup in Ethiopia. In that competition, Nigeria had finished third.
Morocco were determined not to be over-run through. A strong attack by their forwards - Abdellah, Ahmed and Abdallah - was rewarded when a corner was forced.
The Nigerian defence could not manage to clear the ball as it came across their goal-mouth. Morocco's inside-right, Mustapha, was just in the position to head home his country's only goal.
But the Nigerian team made sure of taking a good lead to the next round. Their chance came when Patrick Ekeji made a very long throw-in. Usiyan tried for his hat-trick but team mate Emetole connected with the ball and made the final score 3-1.