Sand Eagles Beat Portugal, Retain Copa Beach Cup


The Supersand Eagles of Nigeria on Sunday retained their Copa Lagos Beach Soccer trophy at the Eko Atlantic Beach Stadium in Victoria Island, Lagos.

The Eagles overpowered the Seleccao das Quinas of Portugal 8-7 in extra time after the tough three periods of the last match ended 7-7.

In the early minutes of the tension soaked tie, Ogbonnaya Okemmiri scored from a defensive challenge that caught Portuguese goalkeeper, Paulo Graca out of position to give Nigeria an early lead.

Shortly after that, Graca took a long range shot from his goal and Supersand Eagles goalkeeper, Oladapo Olalekan tipped it over the bar.

Nigeria captain, Isiaka Olawale and Ibenegbu later combined with the latter’s effort hitting the post before Graca grabbed the ball.

Jose Maria scored twice via two overhead kicks to hand Portugal a 2-1 lead, while Kwara United striker, Abu Azeez equalized for Nigeria in the period.

Bruno Torres shot Portugal into the lead again, when his low drive beat the Nigerian keeper to give them their third goal.

The first period was winding up when Rui Coimbra dribbled through the Nigerian defence and slotted the ball into the far corner for their fourth goal, leaving goalkeeper Olalekan helpless.

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The Portuguese team raised their game in the second period, as Marinho Dante scored their sixth goal. Marinho, who hurried to his rear to defend was caught napping, as he scored an own goal off Victor Tale’s shot to give Nigeria a free goal.

Jordan and Bruno Novo shot Portugal to the lead again, before Ibenegbu picked out Olawale on the left and he expertly side-stepped the ball past Carlos to reduce their opponents lead to three.

Tale scored with about a minute remaining in the second period off a corner kick, while Azeez and another player netted Eagles’ fifth and sixth goals of the match.

Nigeria leveled scores 7-7 in the third period, when Badmus Babatunde scored from the spot, forcing the encounter into extra time.

The Nigerian team pressed further, as Ibenegbu netted the winning goal in the extra time to grab a slim victory against Portugal.

The Nigerian side went away with the trophy with three clear victories, having defeated Lebanon 7-6 in Friday’s opening match and walloped Argentina 5-0 on Saturday.

Portugal, who defeated Argentina 4-0 in the tournament, received the runners up trophy.
It would be recalled that the Eagles defeated Brazil to emerge winners of the maiden edition of the Copa Lagos tourney last year.

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