Saturday Aug 24, 2019. 11:29
Nigeria and Burkina Faso have secured progression into the semifinals of the men’s football tournament at the 2019 African Games following Friday evening’s conclusion of Group A.
The big result of the evening came from ASFAR Sports Centre in Sale, where Nigeria held Morocco 2-2 in dramatic style to advance into the final four and eliminate the host team. The Flying Eagles twice found themselves a goal down, but captain Abubakar Ibrahim Babawo netted the first equaliser late in the first half, while substitute Emeka Chinonso scored in injury time at the end of the game to break the hearts of the Atlas Lions.
The other game played at the Municipal Stadium in Mansouria saw Burkina Faso hammer already-eliminated South Africa 4-0, courtesy of goals from Elliass Dianda, Djibril Ouattara (two) and Spkiwe Nkabinde.
The combination of results saw the Burkinabe leapfrog to the top of the group on seven points, while Nigeria were second on five points. The hosts ended third with four points, while the woeful Amajita ended with zero points (including a loss for their opening match against Morocco which was cancelled last week because SA did not register their team in time).
2019 African Games results, Friday 23 August
Morocco 2-2 Nigeria
South Africa 0-4 Burkina Faso
Group B wraps up on Saturday, with the key match taking place between Mali and Ghana in Sale. The young Eagles top the group on four points alongside Senegal, but Ghana (three points) are breathing down the leaders’ necks. The equation is simple for the Black Satellites: win and they will advance, anything less means an early exit.
Senegal play Burundi in Mansouria in the other match and are expected to avoid defeat against the already-eliminated East Africans, which is all they need to secure progression into the semifinals.
The teams which finishes top of Group B will face Nigeria in the semis, while the runners-up will take on Burkina Faso.
2019 African Games fixtures, Saturday 24 August
Senegal v Burundi – 17:30 CAT
Mali v Ghana – 17:30 CAT