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18 Dec 2015
Cote D'Ivoire and Lebanon snag opening points in decisive wins
Nigeria and England were unable to get opening day wins but that sets the stage for a dramatic day 2 clash
Cote d'Ivoire maintains newfound control over Nigeria in win
The 6-3 win for Cote d'Ivoire over Nigeria was a continuation of what happened in 2014 at this same event in the final. The Nigerian side had come into the event riding high and the Ivory Coast upset them in the final. The opening minutes of this match belonged to Nigeria and the scored first but the Elephants had an answer for almost everything and they never built a big lead, but they were able to stay one step ahead of the hosts. The Cote d'Ivoire could not have scripted a better beginning to their Copa Lagos title defense and they will need to carry that momentum into their Saturday match against Lebanon, who also happened to win their opening match. Nigeria showed that they still have a tough and formidable team but they will need to win on Saturday against a feisty England side.
Cote d'Ivoire was able to dethrone the three-time depending champions of the BSWW Tour Copa Lagos Nigeria, last year, so hosts were not about to let that be forgotten. The Sand Eagles came out strong and scored the first goal and for three minutes they looked to be running away from the Ivory Coast, but as champions, there comes a confidence that cannot be taught and the Cote d'Ivoire side replied a minute later, to level things at 1-1. The Sand Elephants were not done there, if they were shocked or surprised at the Nigerian intensity, they did not show it as they notched another goal, going up 2-1 over their fellow Africans, and the score would hold going into the first break. The fired up Nigerian crowd tried to inspire their National Selection and it looked to work as the hosts were still looking like a top-flight team, but the problem, where their point of view, was that the visiting side was looking just as talented and the score remained the same in the early minutes of the period. Nigeria ignited even more excitement when Ogodo scored the equalizer, putting the score at 2-2. The sides were in a full-blown battle but Cote d'Ivoire ended the frame up by a score of 4-3.
The sides had both dealt each other blows, but the sides were still standing and fighting hard to get or keep the advantage. The match headed into the middle of the frame with the Sand Elephants up 4-3. The lead was added to when Kablan scored his second of the day, making the tally 5-3 for the guests, going into the final minutes of the game. The strike did not completely silence the crowd but it made them nervous, as it was the biggest lead of the day for either team. The minutes crept along for the Cote d'Ivoire and sped along for Nigeria but the score stayed at 5-3 and the chances were becoming more and more desperate and important for the two International Selections. When the final whistle sounded, Ballo had scored his second for the Ivory Coast and the score was 6-3 for the good.
Goals: 1-0: Abu, min. 10 (1); 1-1: Kablan, min. 9 (1); 1-2: Djedjed, min. 6 (1); 2-2: Ogodo, min. 8 (2); 2-3: Daniel, min. 7 (2); 3-3: Abu, min. 3 (2); 3-4: Ballo, min. 3 (2); 3-5: Kablan, min. 7 (3); 3-6: Ballo, min. 2 (3).
Lebanon overcomes slow start to earn opening victory
The 4-2 victory for Lebanon over England had many shifts in momentum and the loss for England could be attributed to missed opportunities more than anything else. The English scored first and looked good doing it, scoring in the first moments of the match, but it was Lebanon who rebounded and made sure their chances connected to build a safe lead in the second period. The win gives Lebanon the first points in the International competition and they are well on their way to earning their first Copa Lagos title. England did not have the answers that they needed today, but their glimpses of pretty play and great teamwork means that they will still have a change to bounce back. England will next face the hosts, Nigeria, in the last match of the day on Saturday. Lebanon will take on Cote d'Ivoire in hopes of earning another three points.
England has had a good run in recent years in beach soccer but they have not yet reached elite status, so what better a place to make a statement in Nigeria at the Copa Lagos. Day, one of their goal scoring machines, scored first, in the first minute to open matter against Lebanon. fought . The two very defensively sound sides fought hard on both sides of the ball until the first whistle sounded the end of the frame, with the score at 1-0 for the Three Lions. The Cedars of Lebanon did not fret when they saw the deficit, and in fact they used some of England's own medicine to level things at 1-1, with an opening minute goal in the second period. The Lebanese were looking like the bruisers and they tacked on another goal. the second from M. Mehri, to take the 2--1 lead. The English settled down defensively, however their good scoring chances left them wanting. The Asian side then added a late goal, the third of the day for M. Mehri and his team, leaving the score at 3-1 for Lebanon going into the final frame.
The European representatives showed their heart, but had extended themselves too thin and expended a lot of energy initially keeping the Lebanese off the board. The goals were all coming, and in an impressive manner, from M. Mheri who scored his fourth of the game, late in the final frame to make the score 4-1 for Lebanon. The score did not deter the English, as they used an even later goal from Clarke, to draw the Three Lions to within two goals, at 4-2. The comeback would prove to be too much and it was Lebanon who hung on for a much tighter than it looks final score of 4-2.
Goals: 0-1: Day, min. 11 (1); 1-1: M. Mehri, min. 11 (2); 2-1: M. Mehri, min. 8 (2); 3-1: M. Mehri, min. 2 (2); 4-1: M. Mehri, min. 2 (3); 2-4: Clarke, min. 2 (3).
In addition to the exciting International action, there was a top-flight clubs competition. The series of friendly matches kicked off all the action in Lagos and the first two matches of each day will feature three local Nigerian teams and FC Barcelona. The first match was arguably one of the best match of the days; between Kano Pillars and Pepsi Academy FC, which was won in thrilling fashion 7-5 by Kano Pillars. The final club match saw a very determined Shooting Stars team fall just short, 4-2 to the monmouth Spanish club.
BSWW TOUR COPA LAGOS 2015
12:45 - Pepsi FA 5-7 Kano Pillars (Exhibition)
14:00 – FC Barcleona 4-2 Shooting Stars (Exhibition)
15:15 - Lebanon 4-2 England
16:30 - Nigeria 3-6 Cote d'Ivoire
11:30 - Shooting Stars vs Pepsi FA (Exhibition)
12:45 – FC Barcelona vs Kano Pillars (Exhibitiion)
14:00 - Lebanon vs Cote d'Ivoire
15:15 - Celebrity Match Ex-Internationals vs Entertainers (Exhibition)
16:30 - Nigeria vs England