Two second half goals from Nigerian league top scorer Tony Okpotu and Peter Eneji secured Nigeria a 2-0 victory over hosts Ghana and a place in the semifinals of the West African Football Union (WAFU) Cup of Nations on Monday night.
Ghana had been assured of a first place finish in Group A after victories over Guinea and Mali in their first two games but their sub-regional arch-rivals, Nigeria needed maximum points after draws in their opening two games.
After a goalless first half, Nigeria took the lead seven minutes into the second half through Okpotu before Man of the Match, Peter Eneji added a second three minutes later, a half volley into the bottom corner. The Eagles did well to hang on to their lead and will now face Group B leaders (to be determined on Tuesday) on Thursday.
In Group A’s other game which mattered little after Nigeria’s win, Guinea and Mali battled out to a 1-1 draw in Elmina.
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In Tuesday’s games, Niger will face Benin in Elmina while Senegal and Cote D’Ivoire lock horns at the Cape Sports Stadium. All four teams still have a chance of progressing to the semi final.
The Nigeriens currently top the Group with 4 points from their opening two games while Senegal and Benin have three points apiece. Coted’voire bring up the rear with a solitary point from two matches.