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14 Dec 2012
Portugal and Nigeria rule in Lagos opening
Europeans bends Argentina, and Nigeria needs to invest a lot of energy to edge combative Lebanon with a goal in last minute
Graça?s rockets get Portugal on top in Lagos
Portugal began this Copa Lagos Beach Soccer 2012 on a winning note, after edging Argentina in the opening game of the competition. Despite playing without their two brightest stars, Madjer and Belchior, the team now coached by Tiago Reis stated their higher rank in Nigeria to give the CONMEBOL runner-ups little chance. With these three points, the Portuguese seem to fit the favourites role they were given after the beginning of the tournament, and get up ahead the table.
The most outstanding player of the game was, undoubtedly, the Lusitanian goalkeeper Paulo Graça, who scored two of the 4 goals by his side, besides preventing all Argentinean attempts find the back of his nets. His first hit came really quickly, in the first minute of the game, and that immediately got Portugal a lead they would never let go. By the end of this first stage, Coimbra widened the gap for the 2-0.
That seemed quite a too heavy punishment for Argentina, who never gave up fighting, despite not enjoying too clear goal chances. After a goalless second period, Portugal finished the game in the third, with the second of Graça?s rockets and an uncontestable free kick lash by José María. The 4-0 has Tiago Reis? lads topping the table after this opening match in the Copa Lagos Beach Soccer taking place in Eko Atlantic City, Lagos (Nigeria) this weekend, December 14th-16th.
Goals: 1-0: Graça, min. 11 (1); 2-0: Coimbra, min. 2 (1); 3-0 : Graça, min. 5 (1) ; 4-0 : José Maria, min. 3 (3) ;
Nigeria fight gets reward (6-7)
A really hard-worked victory, 5-goal-run comeback included, got Nigeria their first three points in this Copa Lagos they are hosting this weekend in Eko Atlantic City. Thirteen goals were needed to decide who would snatch the first units at stake, with the Sand Eagles being the fortunate ones.
After Fattal?s opener, goalkeeper Choker turned into the real hero for the Lebanese, as he managed not only to untie Olawale?s 1-1 to get his team ahead on the score again, but he also brought on amazing saves to deny all Nigerian attempts. Halawi, instead, did found the hosts nets in this first period to have things 3-1 for his side.
Nothing seemed to work for Adamu?s lads, with Abu sending the ball slightly wide on several occasions, but everything changed in the beginning of the second period. Then, Olawale again, and Ibenegbu, 3 minutes later, equalized the score, with the Nigerian number 10 turning the score around to complete a great comeback in the 5th minute of the leg. Only the posts prevented the Sand Eagles to fly even higher in a really inspired stage, until last year?s top scorer, Abu, fired home twice before the period was blown over.
The panorama had changed drastically for the hosts, who were now playing to occupy the eventual first place in the table. Lebanon was not to give up, specially having proven their level so far, and Mehri cut the distance in the beginning of the third period. Matar followed his teammate?s footsteps for the 5-6 bringing on a terrifically thrilling last minutes. The Lebanese, who had a really clear chance to equalize, finally worked the way out to leave things on level terms by means of Matar again. Anything could happen, as both teams stared their opposite end with the same hunger, and both goalkeepers had to do their best to keep their teams? chances alive. With just one minute to go, Tale was awarded a penalty kick, a golden opportunity he would not miss to have his team up in the table of this Copa Lagos with the first three points.
Goals : 1-0 : Fattal, min. 9 (1) ; 1-1 : Olawale, min. 8 (1); 2-1: Choker, min. 5 (1); 3-1: Halawi, min. 3 (1); 3-2: Olawale, min. 11 (2); 3-3: Ibenegbu, min. 8 (2): 3-4: Ibenegbu, min. 7 (2); 3-5: Abu, min. 3 (2); 3-6; Abu, min. 2 (2); 4-6: Mehri, min. 10 (3); 5-6: Matar, min. 5 (3); 6-6: Matar, min. 3 (3); 6-7: Tale, min. 1 (3);
COPA LAGOS BEACH SOCCER 2012
Friday, December 14th
Portugal 4-0 Argentina
Lebanon 6?7 Nigeria
Matches for tomorrow :
15:00 - Portugal vs. Lebanon
16:15 - Nigeria vs. Argentina