A capacity crowd of 70,000 filled Nigeria's Surulare National Stadium in Lagos on Saturday (20 December) to watch their home side, Rangers International, go down 2-1 to the Guinea national champions, Haifa, in the second leg of the finals of the Africa Soccer Club.
GV Spectators arriving at National Stadium (2 shots)
GV SECOND HALF KICK-OFF (Haifa in green and white strip, playing right to left), ball played back, mid-field play, Rangers make short but unsuccessful attack, ball into Rangers half and intercepted
GV Haifa repulse Rangers goal-mouth attack, ball moved into Rangers half along right wing, passed across centre to forward on left, drives towards goal, goal-mouth melee and inside-left Keita scores
GV Rangers throw-in near goal-mouth, attack, ball kicked clear by Haifa defender, Rangers' series of headers into goal attack, ball almost crosses line but goal-keeper makes late save as Rangers players rush in
SPECTATORS ARRIVING AT NATIONAL STADIUM: HIGHLIGHTS OF SECOND HALF PLAY INCLUDING KEITA'S GOAL.
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Background: A capacity crowd of 70,000 filled Nigeria's Surulare National Stadium in Lagos on Saturday (20 December) to watch their home side, Rangers International, go down 2-1 to the Guinea national champions, Haifa, in the second leg of the finals of the Africa Soccer Club.
The 2-1 win secured Haifa the Africa Cup with an aggregate score of 3-1.
Haifa began the match with a 1-nil lead, but Ranges set the score level after only 19 minutes when inside-left Mathias Obianika hit a blinder from the penalty spot.
Despite the roars of the home supporters, Haifa's defence remained cool under continuing Rangers' pressure. The Guinea team took every opportunity to turn defence into attack with a series of sweeping pick-up moves against the Rangers' goal.
Haifa came close to scoring in the twenty-fourth minute, but the Nigerian goalkeeper, Emmanuel Okala made a superb save to stop Guinea dangerman Ibrahim Sory Keita.
The visitors began the second half in fine style, taking all the initiative in midfield with some top-quality attacking soccer. It was only thanks to the sterling efforts of goalkeeper Okala and captain Christian Chukwu that Rangers kept the score level.
But a goal for Haifa was on the cards right from the kick-off ... and it came in the 57th minute when Keita managed to put the ball past Okala with a brilliant drive to give the Guinea team a 2-1 lead on aggregate.
Rangers made two team changes, bringing on Francis Nwosu to replace Emeka Onyeudika in attack, and Stanley Okoroukwo as substitute for the injured Kenneth Ilodogwe. But the replacements brought little joy to the home side in the face of Haifa's battering-ram attack.
With only minutes to go, Souleynane Chereif scored the goal that ensured Haifa's success. His penalty made the score 2-1, and haifa winners of the 1975 Africa Cup, 3-1 on aggregate.
SYNOPSIS: A capacity crowd of seventy-thousand packed Lagos' National Stadium on Saturday ... for the second leg of the finals of the Africa Cup. Nigerian home team, Rangers International -- in the white strip -- went into the second half with the score level, after trailing on-nil on aggregate against Guinea national champions, Haifa, at the match start.
But it was the Guinea team who looked the better ... its defence remaining cool against Rangers' pressure ... despite the Nigerian crowds' roars of encouragement at each promising Rangers move.
Haifa had looked the more confident side throughout the first half, despite going one down to a penalty by inside-left mathias Obianika.
Rangers continued to make sporadic forays into the Haifa goal area, searching for second goal. but the Guinea defence was too alert ... and Haifa showed the Nigerians just how to turn defence into attack with a sweeping run up the right wing.
A high cross across the Rangers goal-mouth spelled danger for the Nigerians. Haifa pressed their advantage with a determined attack. A blinding volley from Ibrahim Sory Keita gave goalkeeper Emmanuel Okala little chance.
Keita's goal put the visitors two-one ahead on aggregate ... and from then on, the Guinea team looked the winners, repulsing even the most dangerous of Rangers' attacks. A goal by Souleynane Chereif minutes from time made them three-one up on aggregate ... and clinched the title.