Boubacar Fall was the star man as Senegal extended their dominance of African Beach Soccer, when they defeated hosts Nigeria 8-4 in a thrilling final of the 2016 CAF Beach Soccer Cup of Nations at the packed Eko Atlantic City, Lagos, on Sunday. It was Senegal’s fourth title, a record feat.
The match was always going to be explosive as the home fans trooped into the arena, filling every available space, with the organisers having to provide an alternative large screen for the teeming fans to catch a glimpse of the final game.
The Supersand Eagles had the better of the early exchanges but it was Fall who grabbed the curtain raiser with a sublime finish before veteran Nigeria captain Olawale put the hosts back with a simple tap in to send the fans into jubilation.
The diminutive Ogodo then put Nigeria in the lead after rounding off Tiounne. Senegal protested the goal after it looked like the ball hadn’t fully crossed the line but score stood 2-1 in favour of the hosts.
But Senegal equalled score through the dangerous Fall after Anyalogu had acrobatically saved a tricky Diassy effort.
The Senegal number seven was giving the Nigerians all sorts of problems but it was the two-time champions who romped to another shock lead through Emeka, to end the first period 3-2 in their favour.
Okemmiri fouled Diassy just after the restart and the Senegalese dusted himself to coolly finish from the spot for 3-3. Anyalogu denied Diassy with an impressive save but Sylla gave Senegal a 4-3 lead before Ogodo grabbed an equaliser in eighth minute of the second period.
The game became more intense with Sylla shown a yellow for hitting Godspower on the head.
From then, it was Senegal all the way with Anyalogu surprising failing to handle Sylla’s seemingly harmless free kick, which spilled through his legs, for their fifth. The deflated Nigerians could only watch as their West African rivals added three more goals, with N’Dour rounding off the scoring with an amazing effort in front of the home crowd that included Sports Minister Solomon Dalung, Nigeria Football Federation boss, Amaju Pinnick, and other top officials of the football body.