- Nigeria vs Cape Verde WAFU Cup of Nations clash saw Blue Sharks beat Super Eagles 3-2 on penalties
- Sikiru Alimi netted the opener for Nigeria in the 65th minute but Cape Verde equalized four minutes later
- Three Super Eagles players failed to score their penalties as Blue Sharks advance in the plate competition
Nigeria vs Cape Verde WAFU Cup of Nations clash at the Stade Lat Dior in Thies, Senegal, on Saturday, October 5, saw Super Eagles fall 3-2 to the Blue Sharks during penalty shoot-out after regulation time ended 1-1.
The encounter saw Nigeria dominate ball possession in the first 45 minutes, but were finding it hard to create meaningful chances to break the deadlock, no thanks to inaccurate passing of the ball going forward.
The Super Eagles did not trouble the Blue Sharks defence until Williams Ukeme’s strike from 24 yards in the 30th minute, but his effort failed to reach the target.
On the other end, Cape Verde could not see much of the ball until the closing moments of the half.
Erickson Soares after getting past the Eagles defence line executed a poor finish from 14-yard straight into the shot-stopper’s hand.
Minutes later, Aires Fernandes saw his strike miss target by inches after getting to the end of a loose ball, to see the scoreboard read Nigeria 0-0 Cape Verde at the break.
After the restart, the Blue Sharks started stronger and came close to netting the opener from Hernan Cardoso deflected shot, but the effort could only hit the woodwork.
Five minutes after the hour mark, Nigeria broke the deadlock through Sikiru Alimi, who was at the end of a loose ball after Cape Verde shot-stopper kept out Effiong Ndifreke’s initial strike.
After the setback, Blue Sharks pushed forward in their numbers and were rewarded with the equalizer four minutes from regulation time after Cardoso nodded home a corner-kick to end the contest 1-1 at the blast of the final whistle.
During the penalty shoot-out to decide the winner, Nigeria’s trio of Reuben Bala Yakubu, John Lazarus and Oluwadamilae Olatunji failed to score their spot-kicks, allowing Cape Verde claim a hard-fought 3-2 win.
The result sees the Super Eagles bow out of the regional tournament as Cape Verde progress to the semi-final to keep a date with Gambia on October 9.
Legit.ng reported earlier that Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr will contend facing Brazil’s Selecao without Spain-based defender Kenneth Omeruo during their friendly on Sunday, October 13, at Singapore National Stadium.
According to a post on NFF official Twitter handle, Benfica ace Tyrone Ebuehi will replace the Leganes defender, who is reportedly injured and was also missing from the Eagles squad that played against Ukraine last month.
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