A draw was not an acceptable result at this stage of the competition. One team must progress to the final and the other goes for the Third place fixture at the Semi-finals stage. The Semi-finals games was between the Western and Northern teams as Senegal hosted Tunisia and Algeria also played host to the Super Eagles of Nigeria on Sunday, the 7th day of July 2019.
The Semi-finals result were heartbreaking as fans were disappointed at one point or the other with their team performance.
Match Review: Senegal vs Tunisia
Starting with the Senegal vs Tunisia game which ended 1-0 after extra time ( AET ) courtesy of an own goal by Dylan Bronn at the 101 minute after Keeper Mouez Hassan weak attempt failed to clear off Sane Mané's freekick safely as he hangs his head in shame and so was the fans as all hope and hard-work was shattered by a cheap goal.
Both teams could have won yesterday but Senegal just managed to carve out the victory. We saw two spot kicks being missed within six(6) minutes. First it was Tunisia's F. Sassi who missed the spot kick at the 75' as he drives the ball into Alfred Gomis arms. It was a poor spot kick I must say. It was a weak shot with poor positioning. Few minutes later it was Senegal's turn to take the lead but shockingly H. Saivet MISSED thanks to M. Hassan save as he parried out the ball to the corner thereby sending some cold wave to the Senegalese fans as disappointment was written on fans faces. The fans called out for A. Mané but he has missed two(2) penalty kicks so far in this tournament so it was a nice option to give others players opportunity to fill the gap but NO it was the same result.
Tactically both teams used a 4-3-3 attacking formation but they was no attack on that evening as both teams try to be careful thereby giving birth to a boring game in which fans here in Lafia even left the viewing center even after paying for the match.
Statistics show that Senegal had 11 shots but ONLY 1 was on target and Tunisia pull out 9 shot but only 3 was on target but a physical game with more clinical tackles wilh Senegal committing 26 fouls against Tunisia's 28 (OMG) but the central referee was gentle enough to give out only 3 yellow cards...
After this game Nigeria fans hope that such mistakes should no occurred during Algeria vs Nigeria game later in the evening. Little did we know that an own goal was awaiting us and it will take another freekick to determine the winner.
As I do tell my friends that the fans are the 12th player and every game is held because of the fans so their opinion and feelings to some extent should always be considered.
I may have missed watching the Super Eagles live at the Cairo International Stadium but I didn't missed the union of Super Eagles fans who came out in their numbers to fill the "common room" of the corpers' lodge in Bukan Sidi Nasarawa State were I'm staying for my compulsory one year service for Nigeria.
We all wish for one thing and that was "The Super Eagles should win". But since the opposite happened what was the reaction of the fans?
Let me take you around the reaction of the fans at the NCCF family house common room were we all gather to watch the Super Eagles battle their Northern Counterpart.
The is a saying that says that success has so many friends and fans but failure faces rejection. That was the case of the Super Eagles fans at the common room here in Lafia.
The second Semi-finals match ended in a dramatic 2-1 victory for Algeria all praises goes to captain R. Mahrez who buried the ball in the net from a free kicked position. Nigeria keeper Daniel Akpeyi shows a high level of inexperience and unprofessionalism in the last minute of the game and no thanks to Etebo and Collins for neglecting their duties on the wall.
The first half ended in a 1-0 lead by Algeria after William Troost-Ekong drives in R. Mahrez cross at the the 40th minute. The ball met Ekong in a wrong position ( facing the goal mouth) and he couldn't help himself. A penalty was awarded to the Super Eagles after a VAR decision in which O.Ighalo equalized for Nigeria by the keeper the wrong direction at the 72'.
Everything was going well as both teams keep attacking until 90+3' when Ndidi committed a foul close to the box and there was a last second goal.
Tactically the Algeria team maintained their 4-1-4-1 golden formation and the Super Eagles came up with a 4-2-1-3 formation.
Nigeria plays Tunisia for a 3rd place finish on Wednesday while Senegal battle Algeria in a of repeat Group C fixture for the trophy.
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How was the fans at your own end yesterday?
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