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14 Apr 2015
Favourites sweat out dramatic day 1 wins
The Ivory Coast needed penalties and Madagascar needed a late comeback to grind out wins over Egypt and Ghana
Senegal handles Morocco for opening win
The 7-3 victory for Senegal over Morocco was very convincing and a perfect way to begin the CAF African Beach Soccer Championship Seychelles 2015. The Senegalese started quick and only got hotter from there. The Lions of the Teranga capitalized on turnovers, direct kicks, and pointed runs. The match remained tight until the middle frame, when Senegal turned up the pressure to pull away. Goals in the final frame also helped seal the win for Senegal. The victory puts Senegal in the lead in their group, Group B, and three points, which they will need to build on when they face Madagascar on Wednesday. Morocco showed flashes of their potential, and despite the final score, they will move forward in their next match against Ghana on Wednesday.
Senegal began the match with a bit more intensity than Morocco, but that did not affect the initial score, as neither team scored but as the game progressed, the Lions of the Atlas caught their breath and started to attack. The two sides showed off their skill with the use of overhead kicks, but the Lions of the Teranga hit gold first on a cracking strike from an outstretched Kamara, which gave Senegal the 1-0 lead late in the opening frame. The defenses refused to budge anymore and the first period ended with the same score, 1-0 for Senegal. The lead was slim and the physicality ramped up but the back lines stayd sturdy and did not give the other side any space, but the Moroccans were not panicking with the one goal deficit. For the calm demeanor that Morocco maintained, Senegal doubled their advantage on a direct kick after a very aggressive run from Diouf. The differing styles of play led to another goal from Kamara late in the middle period to give the Senegalese a 3-0 lead. Kamara was not finished in the frame and added his third goal to give his side the 4 goal advantage while still pitching a shutout going into the last 12 minutes.
The Lions of the Atlas knew things were not all lost as they still had time and firepower to make the comeback, but their newfound energy in the final period quickly turned into another two quick goals for Senegal, pushing their lead to 6-0. The Moroccans saw more opportunities come their way but they had yet to score and they unfortunately gave up another goal to Kamara, his fourth on the day, putting the score at 7-0 to Senegal going into the heart of the frame. The prolific goal scorer for Morocco, Nassim, got his side off the board to build some confidence and shrinking the deficit to 7-1. When the final whistle sounded, the Senegal Selection earned the impressive 7-3 win.
Goals: 1-0: Kamara, min. 4 (1); 2-0: Diouf, min. 5 (2); 3-0: Kamara, min. 3 (2); 4-0: Kamara, min. 2 (2); 5-0: Fall, min. 11 (3); 6-0: Fall, min. 10 (3); 7-0: Kamara, min. 8 (3); 7-1: Nassim, min. 6 (3); 7-2: Hadaoui, min. 3 (3); 7-3: Mahraouk, min. 0 (3).
Madagascar changes fortunes and earns comeback win
The 9-4 Madagascar victory over Ghana did not look to begin that way, as the Black Stars took an early 2-0 lead, only to see their lead disappear. Ghana fought back and tied matters but then Madagascar took off for good, keeping Ghana relatively quiet the rest of the way. Madagascar had to earn their place in this qualifier a week earlier on the same sand and they used that familiarity to ultimately defeat Ghana. The win ties Madagascar with fellow day 1 winner Senegal, at the top of Group B, both with a triumph and the accompanying three points. Madagascar will play again on Wednesday, against Senegal. Ghana could not sustain the momentum they earned early in the game and they will try to get that energy back when they play Morocco on day 2, Wednesday.
Ghana and Madagascar both came into the qualifier riding high with confidence and the Black Stars needed only two minutes to take their first lead of the tournament, on a rasping shot from Adjei, putting Ghana up 1-0 early in the opening frame. Ghana doubled their advantage when Sema was given just enough breathing room to gather his wits and beat the goalie for pace, putting the score at 2-0. The Barea began trying to impose their will on Ghana, taking shot after shot and nearly scoring many, but the score remained the same going into the final minutes of the frame. Madagascar did not come the CAF African Beach Soccer Championship just to lay down and they turned things around, in a split second, to tie matters at 2, with back-to-back strikes from Toki. Madagascar officially turned the game on its head when Toki scored his hat-trick on a direct kick, to give his side the 3-2 lead. The lead did not last long, as seconds later, the Ghana captain, Sema, scored his second of the day to tie things at 3. The scoring spree continued and Madagascar notched another goal, making the score 4-3 for the Barea going into the second period. The excitement continued into the second period, with Flavien scoring his second goal for Madagascar and giving his team a 5-3 lead going into the last 12 period.
There was plenty of time for Ghana to get back into proceedings and they made sure to put fear in their opponents hearts, specifically when they drew one back on a run and finish from Kofi, putting the score at 6-4. Madagascar still had tricks up their sleeve, limiting the Ghana offense and scoring yet again, the fourth goal for Toki, to put the match seemingly out of reach at 7-4. Another burst from Ymelda and his strong left foot made the score 8-4 going into the final minutes of the game. Adding to the scoreboard was Flavien, late in the match, making the score 9-4 and giving him a hat-trick on the day. The impressive performance left Madagascar up 9-4 when the final buzzer sounded.
Goals: 1-0: Adjei, min. 10 (1); 2-0: Sema, min. 7 (1); 2-1: Toki, min. 5 (1); 2-2: Toki, min. 5 (1); 2-3: Toki, min. 1 (1); 3-3: Sema, min. 1 (1); 3-4: Flavien, min. 0 (1); 3-5: Flavien, min. 7 (2); 3-6: Ymelda, min. 11 (3); 4-6: Kofi, min. 7 (3); 4-7: Toki, min. 5 (3); 4-8: Ymelda, min. 3 (3); 4-9: Flavien, min. 2 (3).
Nigeria impressive in rout
The 10-1 win for Nigeria over Seychelles was harder fought than the final score shows but it was still a convincing win for Nigeria. Things began slower than the eventual winners would have liked but when they got through the Seychelles defense, they kept moving forward, building a big lead. The hosts played with high energy and did not play poorly, especially considering this was their first CAF African Beach Soccer Championship, but the Nigerian veterans helped carry them to the big win. The win gives Nigeria three points and the top spot in Group A. Nigeria will next face Egypt on Thursday, hoping to secure another win and more points. Seychelles will face another tough opponent, Cote d’Ivoire, on Wednesday but they will surely use what they learned in this match to surprise their future opponents.
Seychelles knew that they had a tough task ahead of them, defeating the African giants, Nigeria, but they began play very well, limiting the Sand Eagles’ chances. The Nigerians would not be held down forever and the favourites netted the first goal of the match on a shot from Emeka, to go up 1-0, heading into the middle of the frame. Nigeria added another goal before the buzzer sounded the end of the opening frame, grabbing the 2-0 advantage; however Seychelles was fighting hard and were earning the respect of their opponents and new fans. The enthusiasm from the hosts was even more evident in the middle frame, but their acrobatic skills had not produced any goals as the game progressed into the second. The Nigerians added a third goal on a long and low dribbling shot from Emmanuel, putting the score at 3-0. Seychelles could not stop all the Nigerian shots and the score sat at 5-0 for the Sand Eagles going into the final minutes of the period. The first ever goal in an African Beach Soccer Championship was well worth the wait, as Mathiot rocketed a shot from distance that bounced off the inside of the crossbar to put the score at 6-1, and it also excited the crowd. The second twelve minutes finished with Nigeria up 7-1.
The final frame was a great display of Seychelles playing tight defense, even on their heels, and keeping the Nigerians from adding to their lead early in the third period. The eighth goal did come for the Nigerians, on a great individual effort from Ibenegbu, due in part to their constant attacks and shots from all over the pitch. Nigeria did look eager to add to their lead, 9-1, late in the match, but Seychelles was playing with composure and sacrificing their bodies to block shots and keep things as they were. When the three periods had come to an end, the Nigerians had earned a 10-1 win.
Goals: 0-1: Emeka, min. 8 (1); 0-2: Ibenegbu, min. 6 (1); 0-3: Emmanuel, min. 10 (2); 0-4: Abu, min. 9 (2); 0-5: Olawale, min. 4 (2); 0-6: Emeka, min. 2 (2); 1-6: Mathiot, min. 2 (2); 1-7: Taiwo, min. 1 (2); 1-8: Ibenegbu, min. 7 (3); 1-9: Tale, min. 5 (3); 1-10: Abu, min. 1 (3).
Cote d’Ivoire avoids shock and triumphs in penalties
The 3(1)-3 (3) penalties win for the Ivory Coast over Egypt had superb examples of offensive and defensive beach soccer, along with enough drama to fill an Olympic sized pool. Egypt was on the defensive more much of the match but they found ways to score, in each period, before allowing Cote d’Ivoire to make the comeback and send the game into overtime. Despite a scoreless overtime, the energy was palpable and in the shootout the Ivory Coast came up bigger, scoring on all their attempts. The win in penalties gives the Ivory Coast 1 point, and second in Group A behind Nigeria. Cote d’Ivoire will look to get a win in regular time against Seychelles on Wednesday. Egypt nearly scored the big upset but with the way they played defensively, they will be a tough foe for anyone, specifically Nigeria on Wednesday.
The stakes are always high in a qualifier but with competition so tight, this match began with an intensity that was through the roof. On paper the Ivory Coast could be considered the favourites, but Egypt is no slouch and they showed everyone why on an early first period strike to take the 1-0 lead. The advantage held for the Egyptians had to rev up their defense as Cote d’Ivoire was knocking on the door for the equalizer, but the Pharaohs stoically held off the Elephants until the first 12 minutes came to an end. The Egyptians proudly hung on to the slim one goal lead going into the first break. The Cote d’Ivoire was pressing like their lives depended on it, but remarkably, they could not find their first goal, and the equalizer at that. If the Egyptians were beginning to crack from all the pressure, you could not tell as they nearly doubled their advantage on multiple occasions, seemingly out of nothing. The damns did not break and the score stayed the same, Egypt up 1-0 going into the middle of the match. The fierce competition continued until the Pharaohs scored a tremendous goal, their second of the match, after they had been playing defense nearly the entire match, to put the score at 2-0. The two goals quickly dwindled when in the final minute of the frame, the Ivory Coast scored their first, making the score 2-1 for Egypt going into the final frame.
The Cote d’Ivoire had been building confidence and things looked to be swinging their way, but on the 3rd period restart, the Egyptians blazed a shot in, taking a 3-1 lead very early in the final frame. The Elephants began looking at the deficit they faced very seriously, and netted their second of the match, a shot from Aka to draw them back to within one goal at 3-2. The score held through the middle of the frame and going into the final minutes of the match. The Ivorian Coast offense was unrelenting and in one of the most sound defensive performances in beach soccer, Egypt held strong until Aka scored his second of the match to level things at 3 with three minutes remaining. That is when the real drama began. Egypt was content to hold onto the ball and ride out the game to extra time, but a turnover gave the Egyptians a direct kick, from a dangerous position with 2 seconds left, the shot struck the crossbar and could not dribble in and the game went to overtime. The extra period went scoreless, not through lack of wanting, and the match went into penalty kicks where the Elephants saved one shot and that was enough to earn the 3 (1)-3 (3) victory.
Goals: 1-0: Ahmed M., min. 8 (1); 2-0: Mohamed G., min. 1 (2); 2-1: Kabletchi, min. 0 (2); 3-1: Moustafa A., min. 11 (3); 3-2: Aka, min. 10 (3); 3-3: Aka, min. 3 (3).
Penalties: Kouadio, goal; Moustafa S., goal; Aka, goal; Ahmed M., saved; Daniel.
CAF AFRICAN BEACH SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP SEYCHELLES 2015
15:00 – Senegal 7-3 Morocco (Group B)
16:15 – Ghana 4-9 Madagascar (Group B)
17:30 – Seychelles 1-10 Nigeria (Group A)
18:45 – Egypt 3(1)-3 (3) (pen) Cote d’Ivoire (Group A)
15:00 – Nigeria vs. Egypt (Group A)
16:15 – Cote d’Ivoire vs. Seychelles (Group A)
17:30 – Morocco vs. Ghana (Group B)
18:45 – Madagascar vs. Senegal (Group B)