By Jacob Ajom,Â Â Â Â Abeokuta
Nigeria yesterday became the first team to qualify for the semi-final stage of the WAFU Cup after pounding Guinea 5-0 at the MKO International Stadium in Abeokuta.Striker Solomon Okpako got theÂ ballÂ rollingÂ forÂ theNigerians, with his first of the afternoon in the first half, beating two players before slotting past the Guinean goalkeeper, to edge the homers 1-0 ahead.
Several efforts made by the Nigerians to double their lead in the first half however failed to come toÂ reality but on resumption of the second half, Okpako, picked up from where he stopped, beating an offside trap to score his second for the day.
Ruden Gabriel added his name to the scorers sheet minutes later to edge Nigerian 3-0 in front and it would have been four, some minutes later, when Ibenegbu Batholomoew fluffed a penalty kick, to the surprise of fans and his teammates.
But he later made up for the miss by converting Nigeriaâ€™s fourth, five minutes later as the home team went into overdrive in search for goals.
The beautiful day at the office would be rounded off by Ahmed Musa, who netted the fifth goal to send Nigeria into cloud nine and ensure that they became the first side to hit the knockout stage of the competition, featuring eight teams from the sub-region. In the second match, Ghana and Senegal settled for a goalless draw.