“Angel” Gabriel Okechukwu sends Nigeria to CHAN 2018 final

Gabriel Okechukwu

Nigeria defeated Sudan 1-0 to book a place in the final of African Nations Championship courtesy a lone goal from Gabriel Okechukwu.

Both Nigeria and Sudan finished the match with ten men following red card awarded to Ifeanyi Ifeanyi in the 58th minutes and Bakri Makki in the 85th minutes.

The pressure on the Sudanese paid off as Gabriel Okechukwu who was responsible for the winner against Angola ensured the Eagles finished the match with his 17th minute goal. For his effort and goal in the match, Okechukwu was named Man-of-The-Match.

Recalled that Okechukwu had not played any match in the tournament until the quarter final against Angola.

Former junior international Oladele Ajiboye took over from Ezenwa and did his credentials a world of good. He pulled a number of spectacular saves, including pushing a close range header onto the upright just before the interval.

Ajiboye came up big for another acrobatic save from Said in the 84th minute as the Sudanese sought to capitalize on their numerical advantage. But numerical parity was restored three minutes later as Bakri Bachir was red –carded for fouling goal –bound Dayo Ojo.

A minute into added time, Ajiboye pulled another acrobatic save that kept Nigeria in the game, eventually handing the Super Eagles the day and a trip to the Stade Mohamed V for Sunday’s showpiece encounter against the Atlas Lions.

This is the first time Nigeria will make it to the final of the CHAN tournament having won bronze medals at the 2014 finals in South Africa.

Nigeria will now face the host nation Morocco in the final billed for Sunday 4th February in Casablanca.

Image Credit: Cafonline.com