First Teams to Score Having the Upper Hand



If you want to succeed at the on-going knockout phase of the   AFCON 2019 tournament, the psychology of triumph seems to lie in ability to score first. Even if you concede and equalize odds could still favour the team that scored first to laugh last. When Samuel Chukwueze opened score for Super Eagles against Bafana Bafana of South Africa on Wednesday night, the lead may have extended the tradition of first scorers winning at the tournament. Earlier in the day, Teranga Lions of Senegal scored a late goal against Benin Republic and ended up as the only goal of the night. Algeria sustained the jinx last night scoring first in the 1-1 draw with Cote d’Ivoire in regulation period before winning 4-3 in penalty shoot out.


Significance of Nigeria’s Victory over South Africa

When William Troost-Ekong scored the decider that gave Nigeria the semi final ticket against South Africa on Wednesday night, it marked the 15th time Super Eagles will reach this stage of the tournament since the bronze winning feat of 1976 in Ethiopia. It also the marked the first time Nigeria reached the stage after missing the last two editions in Equatorial Guinea in 2015 and the last time out in Gabon.

VAR Test for Eagles

There was palpable silence when the referee took his time before the decision to award the equalizing goal to South Africa on Wednesday night in Cairo. Although the referee did not bother to check the VAR system by himself as many would have expected.

But after about four minutes of suspense, he pointed to the centre circle following the Control Room’s review that made the goal to be a legitimate one. Most Nigerians and partisan Egyptian fans backing Eagles at the arena were utterly disappointed with the decision.

Eagles Now the Adopted Team of Egyptian Fans

Super Eagles of Nigeria is the most popular team at the ongoing tournament since the elimination of the host country last weekend. With high population of Nigerian community here in Egypt and with the exit of Pharaohs of Egypt, the fans of host nation have adopted Super Eagles as their own. The Nigerian team, had the home advantage against South Africa as they enjoyed the cheers from the crowd. Should Nigeria win their next match which is semifinal against Algeria, they would have been the only team that played more matches at the 75,000 capacity Cairo International stadium.