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WAFU: Eagles, Black Stars step out

Two of Africa’s titans in the game, Nigeria and Ghana, will be the reason for capacity crowd at the Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola Stadium today, as the first WAFU Cup of Nations hits the semi-final stage.

GOALMOUTH SCRAMBLE ••• Players of Home-based Eagles scramble to get the ball into Benin Repubic's net during their WAFU Cup match played at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta, Home-based Eagles won 4-0. More of scrambles are expected today. Photo: Sylva Eleanya.

Ghana are first out of the dressing room as they confront the Teranga Lions of Senegal beginning from 3:00 p.m. on the lush FIFA Football Turf of the MKO Stadium, before Nigeria take on Burkina Faso beginning from 5:00 p.m.

The Nigerians have scored an impressive 11 goals in three matches, ironically following their inability to score a single goal in the two–leg African Nations Championship qualifying fixture against Niger Republic.

Failure to score in four halves against Niger was followed by another frustrating opening half against Benin Republic in the WAFU Cup opener, but once Gbolahan Salami scored from the penalty spot after one hour, the Eagles would not be stopped again.Benin Republic fell 0-4, Guinea lost 0-5 and Senegal, which proved stubborn, still lost 1-2.

Burkina Faso will be playing on the MKO turf for the first time after playing all their games in Ijebu-Ode’s Gateway International Stadium, and must be stoic to withstand the firepower of the Eagles and the massive backing of the home crowd.

Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, will be on hand for the two semi- final matches, which promise excellent football from the top four West African teams.

Ghana will bank on the guile and experience of Coach Herbert Ado to subdue the rampant Senegalese, who got three past Guinea in their opening match.

Nigeria Coach Daniel Amokachi will start with his full strength after resting some key actors in Tuesday’s formality match.


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