* As Eagles demolish Morocco 4-3
By Jacob Ajom
The god of soccer is a Nigerian. This was evident here at Cape Town stadium where the Super Eagles of Nigeria staged the biggest come back from three goals down to defeat the Atlas Lions of Morocco 4-3 in the first quarterfinal match of the 2014 Orange African Nations Championship Saturday.
Three first half goals by the Atlas Lions of Morocco set the tone for an emphatic 3-0 first half humiliation of the Super Eagles.
The coach Stephen Keshi tutored team were a sorry sight as they ran from pillar to post chasing the sleek Moroccans in their stride. From the start, it was evident that the Moroccans meant serious business as they orchestrated several attacks in the Nigerian half. But for the heroics of defence stalwart Azubuike Egwuekwe, the Atlas Lions would have taken the lead earlier than it came.
After a cagy start, the Moroccans stamped their authority in the 27th minute when goalkeeper and captain, Chigozie Agbim stretched to parry a goal bound shot near the post. But it was not for long when Mohsine Moutaoali spotting jersey number 10 struck with a curling volley that beat flat footed Agbim in the 32nd minute.
Gbolahan Salami lost a golden chance to have put Nigeria at par but his effort went off mark. At the Nigerian end, the Moroccans struck again in the 36th minute through Iajour Mouhssine who converted a wonderful free kick from just outside the 18 yard box. The Atlas Lions roared again in the 39th minute with a clinical finish from their number 10 man.
The Eagles were more businesslike in the second half as two quick goals from Ogonna Uzochukwu and Rabiu Ali in the 49th and 55th minutes restored Nigeria’s hope in this encounter.
The Eagles proved that football is played in two halves. Just as the clock was winding down, a stoppage time harmless volley by Uzoenyi Ejike drew level for the Nigerians who had fought all through the second half to restore their pride.
HOW FAR DO YOU THINK THE TEAM CAN GO IN THE TOURNAMENT?
WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT KESHI AND HIS TEAM NEED TO DO TO WIN THE TROPHY?