By Victor Okoye
The home-based Super Eagles on Monday defeated the Black Stars of Ghana 2-0 in their last group game to progress to the semi-finals of the West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Cup of Nations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Super Eagles B team bounced back to winning ways after two successive draws against Mali and Guinea, beating bitter rivals and host Ghana at the Cape Coast Stadium.
Super Eagles Chief coach Salisu Yusuf made six changes to the line-up.
Ikechukwu Ezenwa returned in goal and led the team as captain, Kingsley Eduwo was rested for Tony Okpotu, while Stephen Eze, Rabiu Ali, Peter Eneji and Ubong Friday all started.
Nigeria needed a win against the already qualified Black Stars and the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) stars put up a brilliant performance.
The first half ended goalless with the Super Eagles home-based team dominating the half.
Ghana goalkeeper Addo Joseph was the star man in the first half has he denied Okpotu, Friday and Eneji on several occasions.
However, the goals started pouring nine minutes into the second half for Nigeria. NPFL top scorer Okpotu finally broke Nigeria’s goal drought in the tournament with a brilliant finish in the 54th minute.
Three minutes later, Plateau United’s Eneji doubled the lead after the Ghanaian defence switched off and were caught napping.
Eneji was voted the Man of the Match at the blast of the referee’s full-time whistle.
Victory for Nigeria meant Ghana and Nigeria advanced to the semi-final of the tournament from Group A.
Ghana finished as group leaders with six points while Nigeria finished second with five points.
Both teams will wait for the results from Group B on Tuesday to determine their semi-final opponents.
In the other game in Group A played simultaneously on Monday, Guinea and Mali cancelled out each other in a 1-1 draw at the Nduom Sports Complex to finish on two points each.