CHAN 2018: Its Super Eagles, Morocco Final

Nigeria on Wednesday beat  Sudan 1-0  to  face hosts Morocco in the final of the   2018 African Nations Championship on Sunday.

Gabriel Okechukwu gave the Super Eagles the victory.

Goalkeeper Ikechukwu  Ezenwa  was injured in  the 10th minute, forcing Nigeria assistant coach Salisu Yusuf, who is in charge of the CHAN 2018 assignment, to replace him with  Plateau United goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye.

Nigeria started the stronger side and went ahead in the 16th minute. Anthony  Okpotu flicked on a pass from the midfield which Okechukwu converted easily.

The Sudanese grew into the game but were denied by the heroics of Ajiboye while the Eagles wasted chances to increase the score.

In the second half, Sudan continued to attack with Nigeria having a handful of opportunities. However, in the 59th minute Ifeanyi Ifeanyi  was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Sudan failed to take make use of the numerical advantage. But the North Africans were reduced to 10 men in the 86th minute when Bakri Bachir was sent off for a foul on goal-bound Dayo  Ojo.

A late rally in the additional time by Sudan was thwarted by Ajiboye for a victory for the Eagles.

President Muhammadu Buhari, last night congratulated the team for defeating the Sudanese and booking a place in the final of the competition for the first time.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President said he joined millions of football-loving Nigerians in celebrating what he described as the spectacular performance of the team, who face Morocco in the final on Sunday.

Buhari assures the team of the  support of the Federal Government and all Nigerians in their determination to win the tournament.

The statement read in part, “Having keenly followed the team’s progress throughout the tournament with delight, the President commends their hard work, dedication, discipline and indomitable spirit, which are truly worthy of emulation.

“President Buhari urges the players and the coaching staff  to remain focused and determined as they go for gold in the final match on Sunday.

“The President assures them of the unflinching support, goodwill and prayers of the Federal Government and all Nigerians as they soar to victory.”

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