Abuja – Nigeria on Friday at El-Jadida in Morocco lost 4-5 to Cote d’Ivoire, to finish second in Group B of the CAF Qualifier for the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
The loss meant the SuperSand Eagles who still progressed, will now face perennial foes Senegal, in the first semi-final match of the competition on Saturday afternoon.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a win on Saturday will give the former African champions one of the two African tickets to the World Cup.
The mundial is scheduled for Papeete in Tahiti in September.
The other semi-final encounter will see Cote d’Ivoire taking on hosts Morocco later in the day.
In Friday’s match, Cote d’Ivoire kept the first place on the Group B table by upsetting Nigeria in the last group-stage matchday of the competition.
A balanced and hard-fought game had seen a first period without goals, while the scoreboard got really busy in the first half of the second period.
Both sides, however, engaged in a ding-dong affair which finally had the Eagles 3-2 ahead at the end of the period.
Nigeria opened the third period with a goal to make it 4-2, but the Elephants netted two goals to level things back.
With the match seemingly heading to extra time, the Ivoriens fired a free kick home with just seconds to go to grasp the game’s full points, leaving Nigeria no time to react.
In the other matches played on Friday, Egypt mauled Libya 8-3 while Morocco beat Senegal 3-2 and Madagascar whipped Ghana 10-3.
Eight teams are participating in the competition which began on May 22 and end on Sunday, May 26. (NAN)