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Nigeria complete semis quartet
01-25-2009
           
 
 
Nigeria's Flying Eagles confirmed their place at the last four at the ongoing 16th African Youth Championship with a 3-0 thrashing of Cote d'Ivoire in the final Group B clash on Sunday at the Amahoro Stadium.
 
The victory ensured qualification for the five-times Champions as they finished as winners of the group on superior goal difference after being tied on six points apiece with South Africa and Egypt.
 
Egypt beat South Africa 2-1 in the group's other fixture at the Nyamirambo Stadium, but still finished third on six points with the Elephants rooted at the bottom pointless.
 
Against the Eagles, the Elephants started on a high note and pinned the Nigerians to their half on most ocasions but lacked the cutting edge upfront.
 
On 27 minutes, striker Chrisantus MacCauley, who was making his first start of the competition justified his place with the opener after finishing off a one-two move with Okechukwu Uchebo.
 
The Ivorians maintained their dominance in the second half and two minutes past the hour mark Ibrahim Haruna scooped Issa Kone's effort of the goal-line after goalie Miniru Ajiboye had been beaten.
 
Nigeria coach Ladan Bosso brought on substantive captain Lukeman Haruna, and the later doubled the lead on 80 minutes from the spot after Uchebo had been fouled in the penalty area before Ibrahim Rabiu sealed victory with the third goal minutes later.
 
In the other match, Egypt took a two-goal lead before half time courtesy a brace from Talaat Abdel Rahman in the 27th and 39th minutes.
 
Ngcepe Thulani reduced the deficit on 71 minutes for the Amajita but it was not enough to save them from their first defeat of the competition.
 
In Wednesday's semi-finals, Ghana will face South Africa while Nigeria lock horns with Cameroon.
All four teams have qualified for the World Championship slated for Egypt in September.
 
Final standings

Group A

Team

MP

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

Pts

   Ghana

3

2

1

0

5

1

4

7

   Cameroon

3

1

2

0

5

2

3

5

   Rwanda

3

1

1

1

3

4

-1

4

   Mali

3

0

0

3

1

7

-6

0

Group B

Team

MP

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

Pts

   Nigeria

3

2

0

1

6

2

4

6

   South Africa

3

2

0

1

4

3

1

6

   Egypt

3

2

0

1

4

4

0

6

   Cote d'Ivoire

3

0

0

3

1

6

-5

0


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