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Aigbogun says victory over South Africa not enough cause for his team to celebrate



Paul Aigbogun, Head Coach of Nigeria’s national male football team, on Tuesday in Rabat said beating South Africa 2-1 was important but not a moment to celebrate yet.

The coach told Nigeria News Agency at the ASFAR Sports Centre on the outskirts of Rabat that the match was a difficult game for his team.

“We thank God that we won, which is the most important thing but it is not yet the moment for us to celebrate.

“It was a difficult game, but it was our problem. We should have gone four goals up at least by the end of the first half.

“But the situation here was not good for us. The sun was a problem, especially at this hour. However, we were not the only ones affected, and we will now see how it goes as we move on.

“The second half was better, and we were able to finish the job. Now, we will look ahead to our last group game on Friday to ensure we get a good result and progress to the semi-finals,” he said.

Speaking on the substitution of Yira Collins who scored the team’s first goal and was tormenting the South Africans, Aigbogun said it was highly necessary.

“Collins had a slight knock from our first match, and we only wanted just about 50 to 60 minutes from him.

“As it is, we have only him (Collins) and one or two others with slight injuries,” he said.

NAN reports that the Nigerian side beat perennial foes South Africa 2-1 to brighten their chances of advancing from Group A at the African Games in Morocco.

The Nigerian team had drawn their opening game played on Friday 1-1 against Burkina Faso at the ASFAR Sports Centre on the outskirts of Rabat.

They now needed a win to be able to have a chance of advancing to the semi-finals from the group which also have hosts Morocco.

Nigeria took charge of the game early, and were in clear dominance for most moments, but they failed to make the advantage count until the half hour mark.

Ofentse Mashiane drew South Africa level in the 56th minute when he pushed in a loose ball as a free-kick from the left flank by Onke Moletshe was left not cleared.

The inclusion of Success Makanjuola for Collins and Emeka Chinonso for Saeed Jibril, both in the 67th minute, however changed the tone of the game.

Abubakar Ghali finished off a sweeping move in the 77th minute to put Nigeria in the lead.

Goalkeeper Glen Tumelo was quick to save from Chinonso and Makanjuola in the 82nd minute after a delicate pullout by Ghali, as the Nigerian side sought to kill off the game.

Nigeria’s next and final Group A game is on Friday and they now lead the group with four points from two matches.


Edited by Chukwudi Ekezie

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