$100, 000 up for grab
A first half goal from Rabiu Ali handed Nigeria a 1-0 win over a ten-man Benin in the first semifinal of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations at Cape Coast Sports Stadium yesterday.
Ghana in the second semifinal at the same arena over powered Niger Republic 2-0 to set up what promises to be a thrilling final against the Eagles on Sunday.
The Super Eagles took the lead in the tenth minute after beautiful counter-attacking football which saw Anthony Okpotu play Rabiu Ali through on goal and he showed all the composure of a veteran to coolly slot past the keeper.
Nigeria almost doubled her lead on the half hour mark when a right wing cross from Moses Okoro was met by John Friday, but his ten-yard volley was superbly saved by the Benin keeper.
Things went from bad to worse for the Benin Squirrels when they were reduced to ten men in the 35th minute following a second yellow card for Marcellin Koukpo.
The Super Eagles controlled the remainder of the half, but failed to add to the scoreline before the break. Peter Moses should have put the game beyond doubt in the 73rd minute when he found himself unmarked inside the six meter box, but he was superbly stopped by the Benin keeper.
Eight minutes later the Benin keeper came to his country’s rescue again, this time denying Afeez Aremu whose header was sailing into the net.
The Super Eagles continued to push forward in the dying minutes of the game, but their finishing in front of goal was poor as the game ended 1-0.
It would be noted that the Eagles had at the group stage beaten the hosts by 2-0. Eagles manager, Yusuf has assured that his boys would do the needful again on Sunday and return home with the trophy and the $100,000 prize money.