Africa Games: Nigeria beat Mali to set up Burkina Faso Final

The Flying Eagles on Tuesday took a pound of flesh from their Malian counterparts to hit the finals of the football event.

The two teams had played out a barren draw in Rabat at the end of regulation time and extra time forcing the encounter into penalties.

And in the shootout, the Paul Aigbogun tutored side held their nerves to convert all their five kicks while the Malians failed to convert the last kick thus handing the Nigerian lads a 5-4 victory.

The encounter which was watched by lots of soccer enthusiasts who agreed that the boys on the pitch gave a good account of themselves, looked like a replica of what transpired at the Africa Under 20 Nations cup played earlier this year in Niger, where Mali edged out Nigeria 4-3 on penalty to qualify for the finals

There were permutations that the battle of Rabat would have ended without heading for penalty if Flying Eagles captain Abubakar Ibrahim had buried a penalty awarded to the team after Success Makanjuola was fouled in the 21st minute of the match.

Nigeria, who last won football Gold at the 1973 games, will battle Burkina Faso in the final after the Junior Stallions edged out Senegal in the other semifinal.


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