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CHAN: Hard-fighting Tunisa hold Nigeria

Published on January 22, 2016 by   ·   No Comments

Taiwo Adelu

Home Eagles train Friday evening in Kigali, Rwanda

Home Eagles train Friday evening in Kigali, Rwanda

The Carthage Eagles of Tunsia held Nigeria’s Home-based Super Eagles to a 1-1 draw in their second group C match of the ongoing Rwanda 2016 African Nations Championship.
Tunsia’s Ahmed Akaichi’s 70th minute goal cancelled Elvis Chisom Chikatara’s 51st minute goal for the two teams to share one point each in the crucial match played in Kigali Friday afternoon.
The Carthage Eagles of Tunisia were more enterprising in the first half, but failed to translate their ball possession advantage into goals.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles, however, looked dangerous in the attack.
The eighth minute of the half saw the Nigerians getting a free kick some metres away from goal from the right wing. Osas Okoro curled the freekick in for Ifeanyi Matthew who took a powerful shot.
Tunisia goalkeeper Jeridi made an 11th minute big save after a powerful shot from inside the box by Matthew.
The Tunisians hit the Eagles hard afterward, when Akaichi got a 13th minute clear chance, but Nigerian goalie Okechukwu Ezenwa was on hand to make a brilliant stop before Austin Obaroakpo booted the rebound for a corner.
What could have been Tunisia’s first goal came in the 44th minute when Akaichi headed into Nigeria’s net a cross from his teammate. But referee Joshua Bondo disallowed the goal at the stroke of half time.
What caused the Tunisia goal to be chalked off was because the assistant referee raised up the flag after ball was rolled out of touch before it was crossed for Akaichi to score.
A protest from Tunisia’s Mohammed Ben Amor earned him a yellow card and the first half ended on a barren note when the referee blew the whistle.
The second half began with Nigeria’s coach, Sunday Oliseh making a first change. He brought in Orji Kalu to replace Stephen Eze.
A 51st minute goal by Chikatara sent Nigerian bench into wild jubilation. Nigeria went ahead against the run of play and it was Chikatara, after he was set up by Okoro that netted the
goal with a clear close range shot which Tunisia’s goalie could not stop.
That was how wonderkid Elvis Chisom Chikatara broke the deadlock with a great finish to make it four goals in two games.
After the goal, Nigeria were now playing a more relaxed game only for the Tunisians who were desperately looking for an equaliser changed tactics that paid off.
They decided to have two men upfront – Akaichi and Essifi Hichem and the Carthage Eagles drew level in the 70th minute when Akaichi turned inside the box and scored through a header from
one of his teammates. This was his third goal of the tournament.
The two teams were on each others’ neck before the referee blew the final whistle.
Though the Nigerian team are still leading the group with four points, with Tunisia having two points in two matches, the scoreline, however, put Coach Sunday Oliseh-led home-based Eagles in a tight corner going into their third group match next Tuesday.

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