Thursday, 5 May 2011

Ehiosun strikes again in Eagles win

Super Eagles striker Ekigho Ehiosun scored the only goal of the game for holders Nigeria as they edged Liberia 1:0 in the opening match of the 2nd West Africa Football Union [WAFU] Cup tournament Thursday at the MKO International Stadium in Abeokuta.

It was a game of two halves with the Super Eagles clearly the better side in the first 45 minutes, while the Lone Stars played the better football in the second period.

Ehiosun struck after just 20 minutes after a neat exchange of passes, to continue his rich vein of form for the Nigerian national teams. He has now scored for the Super Eagles Team A, the Olympic team and the Team B.

Hopes of a resounding victory however did not materialise as the Liberians - represented by their Olympic squad beaten 6:1 by Nigeria at the weekend, grew in confidence as the game wore on.

With the home-based Nigerians not having played competitively for two months following a suspension of the Nigerian Premier League, the players lost steam after the break.

Liberia took full advantage to torment the Super Eagles, but poor play in the final third cost them at least a draw.

Nigeria's assistant coach Simon Kalika admitted the team played below standard and observed that the Liberians deserved a draw, but was happy that the Eagles managed the necessary result.

"To be honest, they [Liberia] deserved an equaliser" Kalika told Supersport after the game.

"The result is quite good, but we didn't play too well" the Dutchman said. "But I'm happy, it's always good to start well".

His Liberian counterpart Thomas Codjoe conceded that his team played poorly in the first half, but said the half time talks helped. He however noted their poor finishing was a problem, promising to work on it ahead of their next game against Niger.

"In the first half we did not perform to expectations" he said in his post-match TV interview. "We need to improve on our finishing".

Hosts Nigeria had been due to play Mali in the Group A opener and the change meant that Niger had a rest day.

No official reason has been given for the withdrawals by Senegal or Mali.

The absence of Senegal means that Group B has also been reduced to three teams - The Gambia, Togo and Ghana.

The organisers have revised the timetable of games and Friday will now be a rest day.

The next matches will be on Saturday with Nigeria playing Niger and Togo up against Ghana.


NIGERIA: Sunday Rotimi, Chibuzor Okonkwo (Captain), Adedeji Adeyinka, Ubido Julius, Gege Toriola, Wasiu Sowemimo, Udoenyi Chrisantus, Ekigho Ehiosun, Osas Okoro, Ibenegbu Bartholomew, Okoronkwo Stanley. Coach: Samson Siasia

LIBERIA: Nathaniel Sherman (Captain), Bill Paycoe, Michael Jaesue, Crokon Zeon, Maya Gardo, Meurlin Karndu, Gadafi William, Archie Harvey, Emmett Wleh, Patrick Wleh, Samuel Thompson. Coach: Thomas Codjoe

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