The home-based Super Eagles have qualified for the final of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) for the first time at the ongoing 2018 edition in Morocco after they defeated Sudan 1-0 in the second semi-final match played on Wednesday night.
Gabriel Okechukwu was the hero again as his 16th minute strike was enough to propel the team to Sunday’s final in Casablanca.
Substitute goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye also played a crucial role with his saves thus ensuring Nigeria will play in the final for the first time.
He had replaced the injured Ikechukwu Ezenwa as early as the 10th minute of the absorbing encounter.
Both Nigeria and Sudan finished the game with 10 men after Ifeanyi Ifeanyi (two yellow cards) and Bachir Bakit were sent off in the 59th and 87th minute respectively.
The Eagles will face hosts Morocco in the final after they saw off North African rivals Libya 3-1 after extra time through goals from Ayoub El Kaabi (2) and Walid El Khati.
Abdulrahman Khaleefah scored for Sudan with four minutes of regulation time remaining to cancel out El Kaabi’s opener and force extra time but his side could not hold on.
Sudan and Libya will contest the losers’ final in Marrakech to determine the third-placed team.
Nigeria XI vs. Sudan: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Dele Ajiboye 10′); Osas Okoro, Kalu Orji, Stephen Eze, Utin Udoh; Rabiu Ali (Ibrahim Mustapha), Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, Dayo Ojo; Anthony Okpotu (Abdullahi Musa), Gabriel Okechukwu, Austin Oladapo