Nigeria lose to Ghana in penalty playoff | Tunde Folawiyo

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Shortly before their recent semi-final match against Ghana, the Super Eagles were promised a payout of $100,000 – in addition to the NFF’s match win bonuses – if they defeated their opponents. The same offer had been made before the Eagle’s clash with Morocco last month, and seemed to work well, as the former emerged victorious, with a final result of 4-3. But this time, the monetary incentTunde Folawiyoive simply wasn’t enough; Ghana managed to beat Nigeria 4-1, following a round of penalties taken at the end of extra time. This probably came as quite a shock to fans of the team, like Tunde Folawiyo, as the Eagles have performed consistently well for the past year or so.

During the opening minutes of the match, Nigeria appeared to be the superior side, retaining possession of the ball and attacking with great skill.  However, throughout the rest of the game, neither team managed to gain the upper hand. Ghana came close to scoring in the 10th minute, when Attobrah attempted to kick the ball in from the corner, but the Eagles were quick to defend themselves; in the end, his efforts proved fruitless. Just a couple of minutes later, Ibrahim almost provided Nigeria with the lead, but his shot was just wide of the net.

Ghana was dealt a blow in the 64th minute, when the referee decided to send off Adusei, following his second bookable offence. This left the team with just 10 players, and provided Nigeria with a clear advantage; but whilst the Eagles made several valiant attempts, they were unable to overcome Ghana’s strong defence and as the whistle blew, the score remained 0-0.  During extra time, Afful nearly gave the Black Stars a goal, but his efforts were thwarted by Agbim. Nigeria were given a similar scoring opportunity during the 118th minute, but Imenger failed to convert – by the end of extra time, neither team had managed to score, and the match went into penalties.

Kwambe, the Eagles’ defender, delivered a powerful kick, but the ball never reached the net, as the Black Star’s keeper, Adams, performed a skilful save. Uzochukwu’s endeavour was equally unsuccessful. Ghana’s chosen players,  Ainooson, Anobaah, Akuffo and Attobrah, each scored one goal, and in doing so, dashed Nigeria’s hopes of winning the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) – a fact which is likely to disappoint Tunde Folawiyo, and other supporters. Following this loss, the Eagles must now battle against Zimbabwe for the tournament’s bronze medal.

Super Eagles awarded bronze medal at CHAN | Tunde Folawiyo

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Fans of the Super Eagles, such as Tunde Folawiyo, were most likely disappointed with the team’s recent failure to triumph over Ghana; the loss eliminated Nigeria as potential winners of the Championship of African Nations (CHAN). However, following this defeat, they managed to claim the bronze medal, by beating Zimbabwe in a match held at Cape Town Stadium. Whilst supporters were understTunde Folawiyoandably despondent after learning that the Eagles would not be crowned champions of this tournament, the team’s victory over the Warriors has no doubt lifted their spirits, and given them hope that Nigeria will still perform well at the World Cup.

The playoff, which resulted in a final tally of 1-0, was an entertaining one, with both sides playing skilfully. Just five minutes in, Ibrahim had an opportunity to give the Eagles the lead, but Zimbabwe’s defenders obstructed his path, and no goal was scored. Moments later, the Warriors were given their own chance, when Mahachi took advantage of a counter attack, gained possession of the ball and made his way towards the post; however, there were no players inside the penalty area to convert.

Following this, Zimbabwe lost one of its key players, the midfielder Masimba Mambare, after he was dealt a red card for having struck Chigozie Agbim in the shoulder. This meant that the Warriors were forced to play with just 10 men for more than 70 minutes of the match. Although this should have made things easier for the Eagles, they struggled to push past Zimbabwe’s defence, and both Imenger and Obiozor failed in their attempts to score during the first half.

After the interval, Benjamin Francis suffered an injury which left him unable to participate; Keshi selected Ejike Uzoenyi as his replacement. This proved to be a wise decision, as Uzoenyi played an important role in dismantling the Warriors’ defence line throughout the remainder of the game. Even with the winger’s help however, no goals were scored for the next half hour, and the likelihood of the match ending in a draw appeared to be quite high.

Kwambe’s free kick in the 64th minute seemed as if it might break the deadlock, but the ball ended up just wide of the post. However, with just five minutes left on the clock, Nigeria’s fate was sealed, when Uzoenyi swept past Zimbabwe’s defence and kicked the ball to Obiozor, who promptly headed it into the net. Tunde Folawiyo, and other Eagles supporters were no doubt relieved and delighted by this goal, which left the Nigerian team with the bronze medal.