By James Agberebi at Eko Atlantic Beach Lagos:
The Sand Eagles lost to Cote d'Ivoire 3-1 on penalties after both teams ended regulation time 4-4 in a very tough Group A match of the ongoing 2016 CAF Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations at the Eko Atlantic Beach Lagos on Wednesday, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Cote d'Ivoire now top Group A with four points, from an outright win and a penalty shootout win in two matches. In beach soccer, only one point is awarded for a penalty shootout win and three points for an outright win within the regulation time. Nigeria and Egypt are tied on three points apiece. In Group A, Only Ghana are without any point after two matches, and they're already out before the third and final group games are played on Thursday.
Only Senegal, in Group B, have qualified for the last four of the tournament after two game, having already amassed six points from two wins.
The Sand Eagles must now beat Ghana on Thurday to stand a chance of making it to the last four.
The Sand Eagles started on the front foot early in the first period, creating chances but couldn't find the breakthrough.
Their persistence eventually paid off as Azeez Abu opened scoring in the fourth minute.
Cote d'Ivoire came out of their shell and went in search of an equaliser which they got through their keeper Brou Cocou with three minutes left.
In the third minute Cote d'Ivoire went in front with Assouan Kablan making it 2-1.
But with two minutes remaining in the second period Victor Tale scored to bring the Sand Eagles back into the game.
In the final period, Cote d'Ivoire came out smoking and were asking all the questions but were undone by some great goalkeeping by Godwin Ayalogu.
The Sand Eagles eventually cracked in the sixth minute as Kablan put Cote d'Ivoire in front.
With five minutes remaining the Sand Eagles fought back and got their reward, thanks to Abu.
In the final seconds of the third and final period, the Sand Eagles looked to have won it with Tale's goal, but Cote d'Ivoire got right back through Kablan Aka to send the game into extra time.
In the extra time which was three minutes duration, both teams failed to find the winning goal hence sending the game into penalties.
And in the penalties, Cote converted all their three kicks to win 3-1.