The 7th edition of the much anticipated COPA Lagos Beach Soccer commenced yesterday amidst lots of excitement and world class beach soccer action.
The first game of the tournament between Arsenal BSC and Kebbi BSC ended 11-9 in favour of the London club. In the thick of the action in that match was the Arsenal captain, Aaron Clarke who scored the first goal of the tournament and 4 goals in all but was also sent off late on after he was shown two yellow cards.
Subsequent match-ups saw Spain defeat Lebanon 7-3 while newly formed Lagos Beach Soccer team and debutants at the tournament, Gidi Sharks defeated COPA Lagos regulars, Pepsi Football Academy
The biggest game on the night was between Morocco and Nigeria. Morocco drew the first blood through their captain, Nassim Hadaoui but Nigeria came right back in through Bulangi. This was the story of the night as both teams refused to be down by more than a lone goal. However, in the third period, Morocco for the first time in the game extended their lead by two goals to make it 6-4 before Abu Azeez then inspired the comeback that led the Sand Eagles to victory.
First, it was Suleiman Mohammed who nodded in a rebound from an Abu Azeez effort which struck the crossbar, to half the deficit. Abu then through a well struck bicycle kick equalised to put Nigeria back on level terms as the entire Lagos crowd were in loud voice behind their team. The winning goal came courtesy of a beautiful defence splitting pass from star man, Abu Azeez to set up Emeka Ogbonna for a well placed header to snatch victory from the jaw of defeat for the Nigerian team 15 seconds from the final whistle.
With two goals and an assist, Abu Azeez spoke to Aclsports on the role he played in Nigeria’s 7-6 comeback win. “I feel so happy because this happened to be one game we were looking forward to. The last time we played against Morocco we defeated them 6-1 and since then, they’ve been very active playing friendly matches and other competitions.”
He added that: “It wasn’t an easy game at all because they started very well but our commitment really helped us. We will build on this performance for our next game against Lebanon and I’m sure we will come out victorious.”