Nigeria’s male youth national team, Flying Eagles have turned their focus fully on trying to win their last group match of this year’s Africa Games, as Coach Paul Osahon Aigbogun’s side will face the host nation, Morocco on Friday to determine if they will top the group after three matches.
Nigeria are second on the log, heading into Friday’s decisive final games in Group A, as they could only settle for a 1-1 draw in their first game against Burkina Faso, who went on to beat the hosts 2-0 on Tuesday, while Aigbogun’s side narrowly scaled 2-1 over South Africa same day.
Morocco are third in Group A, following a walkover win against South Africa, before losing to Burkina Faso, who Nigeria could only draw 1-1 win, such that Friday’s last matches of the pool is quite decisive for the West African rivals.
Aigbogun will now have to aim for a second straight win, after the Flying Eagles got their first three points of the Games’ football event with a 2-1 win over South Africa at FAR Sports Complex in Rabat on Tuesday, with goals by Collins Sor and Ahmed Ghali ensured Nigeria won the game.
Aigbogun made three changes to the lineup that drew 1-1 with Burkina Faso, with Adesina Gata in for Success Makanjuola, Liameed Quadri took the place of Samuel Nnoshiri and Mathew Yakubu replaced crocked shot-stopper, Detan Ogundare in goal.
Nigeria started brightly and could have taken the lead but for a plethora of missed chances notably by Ghali, Saeed Jibril and Sor, who eventually broke the deadlock in the 27th minute.
Sor made hay after coolly finishing Saeed Jibril’s pass, but South Africa equalised through Ofentse Mashiane, who found space in the Flying Eagles’ defence to hit target in the 55th minute.
Aigbogun then sent on Makanjuola and Chinonso Emeka for Jibril and Sor, which helped increase the tempo in Nigeria’s attack, then resulted in the winning goal, as Ibrahim Abubakar found space to run at the South African defence and whipped in a cross which was met by Ghali for the winner for Nigeria, his second of the competition.
The Flying Eagles’ starting 11 had Mathew Yakubu (GK), Habibu Yakubu, Ibrahim Abubakar (c), Mike Zaruma, Rabiu Muhammad, Peter Eletu, Collins Sor, Ahmad Ghali, Adesina Gata, Liameed Quadri, Saeed Jibril.