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12 Dec 2014
Big comebacks fall short on opening day
Three exciting matches determined Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, and FC Barcelona winners over Ghana, Senegal and Pepsi Academy
Nigeria avoids upset in spectacular fashion
The 7-5 win for Nigeria over Ghana was a breathtaking match that on paper should not have been as close, but games are not played on paper and The Black Stars showed the kind of heart that is always present at Copa Lagos. The Nigerians went up big and early but could not maintain the energy and Ghana clawed their way back, tying the match twice, but in the end, the Nigerian experience proved to be too much as The Beach Eagles pulled away late. The win gives Nigeria the leg-up going into their next match against the Ivory Coast on Saturday. Ghana surprised the fans with their splendid play and made fans out of the spectators and will use that in their match on Saturday against Senegal.
The Nigerians needed no extra motivation but the crowed definitely helped them out in the opening minutes of the match as they drew from their energy and scored two goals in the same minute to take the two goal lead. Ghana did not back down and stayed the course, however they were only able to score once in the period, on a late penalty kick, and the frame ended with The Sand Eagles up 3-1. The Black Stars started the second period strong and used another goal from Kwevi, his second of the match, to pull closer and make the Nigerians nervous about a possible upset. The upset did not stop there and scored the equalizer midway through the frame and they continued to press, not happy with a tied score. Both sides showed resilience and scored once more each to finish the period with the score still tied, but at 4 apiece.
The final frame began with the kind of tension that can only be found on a beach soccer pitch, one wrong move and the whole momentum could shift. Nigeria saw more chances in the opening minutes of the last period but the Ghanaians had their chances on the counter-attack, but did not score early in the deciding period. The first goal of the period came from the Nigerian side and they looked to take control of the match, going up 5-4. The two proud national sides threw caution into the wind and did not stop attacking and going into the final minutes of the match Ghana scored another equalizer that put the score at 5-all. The tie did not last long as the three-time defending Copa Lagos champs scored two more goals in the same minute to put the score at 7-5, which is how the match would end.
Goals: 0-1: Tale, min. 7 (1); 0-2; Abu, min, 7 (1); 0-3: Badmus, min. 2 (1); 1-3: Kwevi, min. 1 (1); 2-3: Kwevi, min. 7 (2); 3-3: Sema, min. 6 (2); 3-4: Tale, min. 4 (2); 4-4: Kwevi, min. 3 (2); 4-5: Najere, min. 8 (3); 5-5: Lareyea, min. 4 (3); 5-6: Badmus, min. 2 (3); 5-7: Najere, min. 2 (3).
The Ivory Coast smothers Senegal to earn first points
The 6-2 victory for the Ivory Coast was not as easy as the final score indicates. Senegal could have been considered the favourite as they are the defending FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Tahiti 2013 Qualifier CAF champions. The Ivory Coast is obviously no slouch and showed that they have a legitimate chance to dethrone the hosts, Nigeria, for the Copa Lagos 2014 title. The Senegalese team scored first but could not hold their lead for long as the Ivory Coast simply took over and finished the match up by four goals.
Goals were not in short supply in the opening frame as Senegal come out hot, but initially only netted one goal. The Ivory Coast quickly responed with two goals of their own to take a 2-1 lead, midway through the period. The two sides battled out the final minutes of the frame finding their defensive rhythm and limiting shots, but the Ivory Coast found the back of the net again, to score their third straight, and they took the 3-1 advantage into the middle frame. The rest did nothing to slow down The Elephants as they scored the first goal of the second period to push their lead to three goals, at 4-1. Scoring came easy to the Ivory Coast as they added two more goals to their lead before the period ended, setting the score at 6-1 going into the final period.
The final 12 minutes of the match began as a stark contrast to the early going, as defense took over. Neither side was able to score despite some open looks and free real estate when they were handling the ball. The Lions of Teranga did well to stop the bleeding but their misfortune was that they could not produce enough offense. Senegal tried to spark a comeback but it fell well short as they finished the match down 6-2, despite their best efforts.
Goals: 1-0: Sylla, min.10 (1); 1-1: Djedjed, min. 9 (1); 1-2: Diomande, min. 7 (1); 1-3: Kablan, min. 0 (1); 1-4: Djedjed, min. 7 (2); 1-5: Daniel, min. 5 (2); 1-6: Djedjed, min. 1 (2); 2-6: Faye, min. 4 (3).
FC Barcelona holds off Pepsi Academy in friendly
Star forward, Llorenç slotted home four goals to carry his FC Barcelona side to a 6-4 victory. Barça looked to be on cruise control until the final period when the Nigerian club stormed back but could not get closer than two. The first period no doubtedly belonged to the Spanish club but the third period was all Pepsi Academy. When the final buzzer sounded the score was 7-4 for Barça.
Goals: 1-0: Amarelle, min. 10 (1); 2-0: Llorenç, min. 5 (1); 3-0: Nico, min. 0 (1); 4-0: Llorenç, min. 9 (2); 5-0: Llorenç, min. 0 (2); 5-1: Yakub, min. 8 (3); 5-2: Yusuf, min. 8 (3); 6-2: Llorenç, min. 4 (3); 6-3: Akeem, min. 4 (3); 6-4: Yakub, min. 0 (3); 7-4: Raul Merida, min. 0 (3).
COPA LAGOS 2014
14:00 - FC Barcelona 7-4 Pepsi Academy (Friendly)
15:15 – Senegal 2-6 Ivory Coast
16:30 - Ghana 5-7 Nigeria
14:00 - FC Barcelona vs. Stationery Stores FC (Friendly)
15:15 – Senegal vs. Ghana
16:30 - Nigeria vs. Ivory Coast