Nigeria qualified for the next round of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations after two second-half goals from Anthony Okpotu and Moses Eneji gave them a crucial win against hosts Ghana on Monday night.
Anthony Okpotu opened the scoring following a positive move on the part of the Super Eagles after enduring a difficult start to the WAFU Cup of Nations.
Eneji made the game safe with a stunner to help the Eagles book their ticket to the semi-finals.
Nigeria had come into their last round of Group A games needing three points against their West African rival, who had already made it to the last four as group winners.
Aware of the possibility of being knocked out, the Super Eagles began the match with an intent absent in the tournament so far.
Ubong Friday missed on one on one with the keeper at his mercy.
Some more sharp play from Nigeria saw another chance go to waste when a selfless cut-back from Rabiu Ali was blazed well over by rampaging Okpotu.
While struggling to retain possession, Ghana did sporadically threaten with their set-piece delivery.
Felix Addo headed one Ghana corner over, while a number of other crosses caused panic at the back for Nigeria.
Dead balls were also causing a problem at the other end of the pitch, and Friday stung the keeper’s fingertips with a powerful header from a deep Ali’s corner.
Ghana had begun to lose momentum in the final minutes of the first half and Nigeria were the team to begin the brightest after the break.
Okpotu got on the end of a loose ball, he left his marker stranded before unleashing a quality strike beyond goalkeeper Joe Addo in the 53rd minute.
Nigeria continued to show some real intent as they began to pick up the tempo as the threat of scoring again and they got what they wanted.
Eneji picked a perfect spot for himself before putting the ball to the back of the net five minutes before the hour.
In the other group match, Mali and Guinea played a 1-1 draw.
With the result, Nigeria finished second in the Pool with five points from three matches. Hosts Ghana ended up at the summit with six points from three games.
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