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THE SHOT THAT PASSED RIGHT THROUGH THE NET    African Cup Of Nations 2000  JAN 22 - FEB 13  Nigeria/Ghana 
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Group A
Group B
Group C
Group D
3rd place
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Quarter-Finals Feb 7, 1800h (GMT) Nigeria - Senegal   2 : 1 

This was the situation before the match 
Nwankwo Kanu: 'We have the best quality individual players and overall the best team in Africa'  
Mutiu Adepoju: 'We have the commitment and passion to play, we have the skills and can achieve our target once we set out to do it.' 
Bonfrere (coach): 'Three more matches and the African Cup is ours! I've always believed this team is among the best in the world.' (Reuters) 
Senegal is what you may call a decent team. They are good on all levels. Not a top team but they can beat anybody who is not fully concentrated and exposes to many weaknesses. They are committed and now they are confident. And if they have heard the Nigerians, they will smell their chance. 
If Nigeria is full concentrated it is hard to see they might lose to the outsiders. But if the quotes above are representative, they already have won the cup in their heads while Senegal has a real goal in front of their eyes. 
Senegal will have had two days more to focus on the match while Nigerians have to forget their joy quickly. Maybe the three days rest is just the right length to keep concentrated and refocus. 
> How the Super Eagles won the Nations Cup 1994 
> a Senegal preview at the Nigerian fanzine 
(there has to be added the remark that Senegal is especially dangerous when having room for counter attacks. most conspicious attackers have been rather the fast Henri Camara in all matches and Abdoulaye Mbaye who emerged in the last group match against Zambia) 

Scorers: Nigeria - Julius Aghahowa 84, 92 
Senegal - Kalidou Fadiga 6 
Attendance: 60,000 
Halftime: 0-1; full time 1-1 
Red card: Austin Okocha (Nigeria) 
Note: golden goal rule not applied 
Nigeria - 1-Ike Shorunmu; 2-Gbenga Okunowo (15-Sunday Oliseh, 80), 21-Godwin Okpara, 6-Taribo West, 3-Celestine Babayaro; 13-Tijani Babangida (17-Julius Aghahowa, 68), 8-Mutiu Adepoju, 10-Austin Okocha, 7-Finidi George; 4-Nwankwo Kanu, 19-Benedict Akwuegbu (14-Emmanuel Amunike, 62) 
Senegal - 1-Oumar Diallo; 2-Omar Daf (8-Mbaye Badji, 70), 3-Omar Traore (6-Papa Daouda Sene, 67), 16-Cheikh Sidy Ba, 9-Assane Ndiaye; 4-Papa Malick Diop, 13-Ousmane Diop, 14-Moussa Ndiaye, 15-Pape Niokhor Fall; 7-Henri Camara, 10-Kalidou Fadiga (21-Abdoulaye Mbaye, 105) 
1st half:

-('3) Nigeria: great save by the Senegalese keeper against a header by AKwuegbu?(Okocha?)
-('8) Senegal: Fadiga stops a cross from the right with his chest and releases a low shot from 8 meters into the corner - 0:1
A Nigerian defender close to the scorer, seems to have been Okunowo, had jumped at the wrong moment for the ball and so put himself out of play and so provided the necessary time
-('12) Nigeria: good fast attack ends with Finidi low shot wide
-('14) two big opportunities on both sides: Senegal have Nigeria outnumbered but only manage a quite harmless shot, Babangida is dangerous in front of the Senegalese goal 
-('15) Camara tries it alone, his shot misses close
-('18) Kanu's attempt from 16 meters goes narrowly wide
-('19) Senegalese keeper successfully claims cross ball
-('20) Nigerian player dribbles on the left, hits outside of the net (Okocha?)
a few more Nigerian almost chances, when balls get defended or intercepted at the right moment
-('25) Senegalese counter attack by Henri Camara, but all alone he has to target the goal from a difficult angle
-('27) Henri Camara, almost the same scene, again from the right side
-('39) Camara shoots across the bar on a counter attack this time involving more players
-('44) promising looking Senegalese counter attack gets intercepted and converted into a Nigerian answer stopped by the alerted Diallo in Senegalese goal
-('injury time) opportunity for Nigeria by a good scene of Okunowo: a 1-2 with Okocha? and a sharp distance shot which rushes wide - keeper had been in the corner

Halftime 0:1
Senegal has some dangerous moments by their fast counter-attacks but they attack with no enough players. Though they are defending successfully they are under tremnendous pressure. And Nigeria still have their big play potential on the field, able to change the way of the match within seconds. Senegal will have to look for more opportunities and convert them as one goal should not be enough to win the match.

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you want to know for which club Kanu played 1996?
which shirt number he wore at Atlanta?
you wonder whether Chad has played any matches recently and who played for them?
the author has just informed me that the new African Yearbook 2000 is out now
2nd half:
-('47) Kanu - great control with a bunch of defenders around him he still manages to pass the ball on, but the defence is to tight for a clear shot
-('53) huge opportunity on acounter attack by Senegal: Camara runs down the right hand side and shoots a low ball to the middle where Assane Ndiaye slides in and puts the ball narrowly wide
-('55) Kanu gets stopped short before the 16 meter line for a free kick: free kick in good position for Nigeria, Okocha's ball touches the crossbar, goes acroos the goal
-('57) Kanu sets up a chance for Akwuegbu, who  from about 10 meters half left, unchallenged, unleashes a shot well off target
-('59) Kanu and Okocha - no goal, Okocha shoots wide, more power than accuracy
-('62) Amunike in for Akwuegbu
-('64) Okocha tests the keeper Diallo from far, who has also problems on the following corner
-('67) Okocha again - this time he fires from half left side inside the penalty, to the near goalpost but wide again
-('67) Aghahowa in for Babayaro - Nigeria start to take chances
-('68) Senegal: Camara on a counter attempt, keeps the ball several seconds to wait for other players, but then chance fades 
-('70) Senegal: #8 El Hadji Mbaye comes in for the exhausted Omar Daf
-('75) one of the Nigerian corner brings some excitement, Oumar Diallo has to be treated for two minutes
are the Senegalese attackers tired, timid, or are the Nigerians so dominant now? - there has been no dangerous counter attack for 25 minutes
-('80) Sunday Oliseh who has been ill with a malaria blow comes in (for Okunowo)
the pressure becomes bigger, the match takes place in the Senegalese half
-('81) some unfriendly dsikussions after an Amunike tackle from behind, for which Senegalese want some kind of card (might have hit the ball as well)
-('84) Senegal: Henry Camara, now most of the time alone in the attack has ahis first menacing appearance in front of the Nigerian goal since almost 30 minutes: He ihas some room but again a difficult angle from the right. Shorunmu saves.
-('85) ball into the penalty area and Aghahowa scores from 8 meters from half left into the near corner- 1:1
-('injury time) Nigeria keeps pressuring 
the referee does not seem willing to give yellow cards for each bad looking foul as the match gets more physical
-('injury time) a Senegalese player tries to catch Shoronmu by a log range shot but it sails more than 5 meters wide
-('injury time) Kanu provides the ball to the right side where Finidi waits to fire from the corner of the penalty area, but Diallo saves the shot, that might have gone wide anyway, for a corner
-no decision, extra-time will have to decide

after 90 minutes: 1:1
Senegal probably made a mistake in playing too defensive instead of trying to exploit the problems the Nigerian defence had with their fast counter attacks. Now Nigeria is big in the match again. Senegal still has strikers on the bench and is not counted out yet. Though the danger is there that they might go for the penalties. But this will leave them pinned with the backs to the wall. The momentum is on the side of Nigeria now. Extra-time will decide (or penalty shoot-out).

extra-time, 1st half:
-('92) Ball is brought in from the left wing, a defender misses it and Aghahowa matches to control it somehow and shoot it into the net from 4 meters - 2:1 
-the crowd has invaded the pitch, maybe they do not know: this is no golden goal! (it is a normal extra-time to be played 2x15 minutes)
-the match is still interrupted
-('95) a fast Nigerian counter attack - a bit too fast
-('104) after more than 11 minutes the match can continue
I adjust the clock, that it does not look so confusing:
-('93) after more than 11 minutes the match can continue
-('102) Senegal: first opportunity for #21 A.Mbaye, who has come in, he misses a crossball for what could have been a dangerous header
Nigeria still dominates, but Senegal answer now
-('104) Okocha brilliant again as he initiates another attack (which goes by without harm after a Finidi cross)
-halftime of extra-time

extra-time, 2nd half:
-('106) Senegalese argue with the referee at halftime who rewards the captain Diop with a yellow card
-('110) A.Mbaye header wide
-Camara is exhausted and Amunike is stopped
-('113) Senegal still is able to create opportunities
-('114) chance for Amunike, set up by Aghahowa, ball goes far across the bar - the outcming keeper has iriitated Amunike
-('116) Nigeria: free-kick from the left brings some danger
Before this free kick is where the trouble with Okocha and Badji seems to starts, who refuses to keep distance.
-('117) emotions go high, involving Okocha, the Senegalese captain Diop and a Senegalese player which seems to have been struck down by Okocha away from the ball. It is Badji who had some kind of quarrel with Okocha, who eventually has hit him somehow with the arm or elbow, unclear how seriously
-('118) Okocha, who is known as a very fair player but might have lost composure here, gets a red card, leaves the field furious, shakes hand with Badji but applauds ironically to either the Sengalese captain who had lobbied for the red card or the assistant or fourth referee who must have seen the incident as the referee himself did not look like so..
-('injury time) Shoronmu successfuly claims a cross

final result 2:1 a.e.t.
A match that had everything football is all about. Would Nigeria have won without the homefield advantage? But it was a powerful force who turned it around against a dangerous Senegalese team who played a bit too conservative. What a pity that Okocha, who motored the comeback (with Kanu and Finidi), is now out for the cruical semi-final against the all strong South Africans. 
Senegal has more and more emerged as a great team during the tournament. They can return home proud.

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