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19 Dec 2015
Nigeria and Cote d'Ivoire win to continue African dominance
Lebanon takes first loss while England still searching for answers as the final day in Lagos will decide everything
Nigeria avoids collapse in rebound win
the 8-6 win for Nigeria over England was almost never in doubt but that does not mean that England was not a fighter or that did not have the Nigerians scared to let off the accelerator. Nigeria pounced first but the English tried to storm back and did get one back. It was at that point that Nigeria turned on the afterburners to try and put the England team away for good. However, they could not. The huge second period fueled the victory but Nigeria did have to play sound defense from start to finish to make sure England could not officially make the comeback, where as the English climbed back to within two goals in an almost historic comeback. The win was a solid one for the hosts and they needed it and the confidence that came along with it, after their opening day loss to the Cote d'Ivoire. The victory gives Nigeria their first points int the Copa Lagos and it keeps their title hopes alive. England was unfortunate to lose their first two matches but the beauty of this event is that they will have a chance to play again, against Defending Champion Cote d'Ivoire on Sunday.
England was not able to secure any points on day 1, but neither were the hosts so the match had the makings for a cracker. In the early minutes it was all Nigeria and they were asking all the questions of the English goalie, and he could not stop everything. The Sand Eagles put the crowd in a roar, in a good way, when they scored in the first minute and then three minutes later, putting the score at 2-0 thanks to Abu and Emmanuel. England shored up their defense and were able to mount some offensive attacks and limit the Nigerian chances but it was not enough to change the score and the teams went into the first break with Nigeria up 2-0. Hope was far from lost for the Three Lions, especially after their young star, Clarke, hit gold with his first goal of the day, in the opening minute of the second frame. The European sides' momentum was quickly stopped when Abu scored his second goal to put the score at 3-1 and restore the two goal for the African side. The hosts certainly picked up the energy and finished the frame up by a score of 7-1. With 12 minutes remaining, the English needed to find a spark.
The Three Lions needed only a minute to begin the arduous comeback trail, but Day scored his teams' second goal early in the third, to keep their hopes alive. As the period progressed, Nigeria still looked like the bigger team but that did not stop the English from clawing their way back from down six goals to within two in the final minutes. The come from behind spirit was a sight to behold as England never stopped believing but Nigeria had built a large enough lead to hold off the final attempts and push from the English. When the final buzzer sounded it was the Nigerians who earned the 8-6 win.
Goals: 1-0: Abu, min. 11 (1); 2-0: Emmanuel, min. 8 (1); 2-1: Clarke, min. 11 (2); 3-1: Abu, min. 10 (2); 4-1: Emeka, min. 8 (2); 5-1: Ifeyani, min. 3 (2); 6-1: Ogodo, min. 0 (2); 7-1: Emmanuel, min. 0 (2); 7-2: Day, min. 10 (3); 7-3: Corbett, min. 3 (3); 7-4: Corbett, min. 3 (3); 8-4: Ifeanyi, min. 2 (3); 8-5: Day, min 2 (3); 8-6: Bowes, min. 2 (3).
Cote d'Ivoire stays undefeated with last minute goal
The 5-4 win for Cote d'Ivoire over Lebanon was a fantastic match that displayed why the two teams were unbeaten coming into the match. A last minute goal had to decide matters as both sides were fighting back and forth, exchanging goals and leads throughout. The Ivory coast struck first but could not build a safe enough lead, seeing a slim two goal lead disappear, only to recover and score the winner in the final minute. Even more special was that it was the fourth of the day for Kablan. The win keeps Cote d'Ivoire in control of their destiny going into their final match against England on Sunday. Lebanon still has a shot to win but they must find a way to beat Nigeria in the final match on Sunday and they need other dominoes to fall in place as well.
Cote d'Ivoire was playing short-handed and after a very hard fought win on day 1, it could be expected that a letdown was possible but they dispelled that myth in the first minute of the match with a goal from Daniel. However, the Cedars responded with an equalizer late in the frame, knotting things at 1 going into the last two minutes. The sides would not strike again and the period ended with the scored tied at 1-all. The middle frame began with a more defensive effort but in the end, the same offensive dramatics took place, only later in the frame. It was the Lebanese who scored first in the middle frame, taking their first lead of the match, just past the halfway point, but the score did not sit that way for long. The Elephants showed real mettle in coming back and striking next, putting the score at 2-2 less than a minute later. The two undefeated sides could not strike goal again in the period and the match headed to the final period tied at 2-2.
The Sand Elephants made sure to use all the excitement of the fans, music, and cheers, to ride the momentum further, allowing the adrenaline to overpower any fatigue they might have had. The Ivory Coast again scored in the first minute, on the second blast from Kablan, and that restored the one goal lead at 3-2. Kablan and his team did not feel safe with the slight lead, so he decided to score again, giving him a hat-trick, and pushing the lead to the biggest all day, at a mere two goals though, by a tally of 4-2. The Cedars of Lebanon had plenty let in their tank and they scored two rapid-fire goals, less than a minute apart, and late in the frame, to level things at 4. clutch nature of the defending champions prevailed as Kablan scored his fourth of the day, and in the final minute, to earn the 5-4 win.
Goals: 0-1: Daniel, min. 11 (1); 1-1: M. Mehri, min. 2 (1); 2-1: M. Al Zein, min. 5 (2); 2-2: Kablan, min. 4 (2); 2-3: Kablan, min. 11 (3); 2-4: Kablan, min. 9 (3); 3-4: A. Garada, min. 3 (3); 4-4: M. Mehri, min. 3 (3); 4-5: Kablan, min. 0 (3).
The pre-international club matches were as thrilling as almost any World Cup match, as the first game went into overtime just to determine a one-goal victory. It was Shooting Stars who scored with four seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime, where they scored the only goal to earn a 4-3 win. FC Barcelona built upon their opening day win and attacked Kano Pillars, earning a big 8-3 victory, thanks in part to their leader, Amarelle, and star, Ott
BSWW TOUR COPA LAGOS 2015
11:30 - Shooting Stars 4-3 (aet) Pepsi FA (Exhibition)
12:45 – FC Barcelona 8-3 Kano Pillars (Exhibitiion)
14:00 - Lebanon 4-5 Cote d'Ivoire
15:15 - Celebrity Match Ex-Internationals 4-3 Entertainers (Exhibition)
16:30 - Nigeria 8-6 England
12:45 - Kano Pillars vs Shooting Stars (Exhibition)
14:00 – FC Barcelona vs Pespi FA (Exhibitiion)
15:15 - Cote d'Ivoire vs England
16:30 - Nigeria vs Lebanon