Nigeria were yesterday crowned champions of the West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Cup after beating Senegal 2-0 in a nail-biting final at the MKO International Stadium in Abeokuta.
After battling to a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso in their semi-final match on Friday, the coach Daniel Amokachi-tutored Home-based side, knew that they would have their hands full against a Senegalese team, who were quite impressive in their semi-final victory over Ghana, who were the defending champions but after a goalless first half, the Nigerians came out smoking in the second half, tormenting their opponents but still failing to find their range in front of goal.
After incessant raiding of the Senegalese defence, the Home-based Eagles, who had missed qualification for next yearâ€™s CHAN tournament, deservedly scored the opener, through Reuben Gabriel, who had been in scintillating form, in the previous games played.
His goal was widely celebrated by his teammates, who rushed to join in basking in the euphoria of breaking the back of the Senegalese.
With their tail in front, the Nigerians were emboldened to hunt for more goals, and after several botched attempts, they finally got the second, netted by Solomon Okpaku, which effectively put the match out of the reach of the hapless Senegalese, who appeared jaded and out of sorts
They tried to respond but found the Eagles defence a tough nut to crack, for the remaining minutes of the match as the Nigerians scooped the second edition of the WAFU Cup, which was graced by the Sports Minister, Ibrahim Isa Bio, alongside Governor Gbenga Daniel and WAFU boss, Dr. Amos Adamu.