Bakri Bachir Bakri Makki of Sudan challenged by Anthony Okpotu of Nigeria during the 2018 CHAN semifinals football game between Sudan and Nigeria at the Grand stade Marrakech in Marrakech, Morocco on 31 January 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Wednesday Jan 31, 2018. 23:39
Sudan lost their 2018 CAF African Nations Championship semifinal match 1-0 to Nigeria at Stade de Marrakech on Wednesday.
The defeat means the Falcons of Jediane will lock horns against Libya, who lost to Morocco earlier on Wednesday, in the third-place playoff.
For the Super Eagles, a first half goal through Okechukwu Gabriel ensured Salisu Yusuf's men are through to meet Morocco in the final on Sunday.
Nigeria suffered a massive blow when goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa sustained an injury forcing him to be replaced by Oladele Ajiboye.
Three minutes later, Sudan had a glorious opportunity to grab the lead in the 15th minute, but Ajiboye was quick to read the danger.
However, it was Nigeria who found the back of the net a minute later when Gabriel beat Elhadi Akram from close range with a low shot.
In the 25th minute, Gabriel came close to bagging his brace when his left-footed shot sailed inches wide of Akram’s left corner.
Despite good moves and dominance by the Falcons of Jediane in the dying stages, it was 1-0 at half time for Salisu Yusuf’s men.
Nigeria looked threatening in the second half, but Ifeanyi Ifeanyi was shown his marching orders in the 58th minute after a dangerous tackle.
Coach Zdravko Logarusic’s men would take advantage of the situation and Osman Ismaeil saw his powerful shot going wide, with Ajiboye becoming a spectator.
With three minutes to go, Sudan were also reduced to 10 men when Bakri Bachir received a straight red for bringing down Solomon Ojo.
Nigeria’s Ajiboye kept his team in the game after producing two brilliant saves in the 90th minute to ensure they are through to the final.
Nigeria (1) 1 (Gabriel 16’)
Nigeria: Ezenwa (Ajiboye 12’), Osas, Udoh, Okgbue, Eze, Ali (Ibrahim 77’), Ifeanyi, Ojo, Oladapo, Gabriel, Okpotu (Musa 62’)
Sudan: Akram, Abuuagla (Taher 53’), Dafalla, Makki, Idris, Maki, Gesalla (Yagoub 64’), Samawal (Babikir 76’), Bashir, Ismaeil, Nasreldin