By Sab Osuji (pix: Ganiyu Yusuf) at Eko Atlantic Beach Lagos:
The rivalry between two West African football superpowers, Nigeria and Ghana reverberated Thursday night at the 2016 CAF Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations at the Eko Atlantic beach, Lagos, with the Sand Eagles beating the Black Sharks 4-3, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The Supersand Eagles were up against their Ghanaian counterparts in a make or mar clash of the final Group A.
Ghana were already eliminated having lost their earlier two group games while Nigeria with a win already in the kitty and needed a win over the Black Sharks to progress ahead of Egypt who beat Ivory Coast early on.
But the Ghanaians tightly screwed their heads onto their necks, never to give up any space for the ambitious hosts.
Surprisingly, the game produced the first scoreless draw in the first two periods, a clear indication of the gritty clash.
However, Emeka Ogbonna broke the deadlock six minutes into the third period but the ovation that greeted the goal had hardly died down when Ghana drew level almost immediately.
It was Kofi Aziz who silenced the crowd with his equalizer before Kwame Torsu handed the Black Stars a shock lead.
But Ogbonna got his brace on the night when he drilled home the equaliser to bring scores at 2-2 with six minutes remaining.
The ding-dong affair continued until three minutes to regulation time when Obodo converted a penalty to hand the Sand Eagles a 3-2 lead.
But just as the Ghanaians restarted the game, a straight kick at goal found the ball behind the net, thus bringing the Ghanaians back into the game with scores at 3-3.
However, with a minute and 46 seconds left on thevclock, Tale fired home from a tight angle to restore the Sand Eagles lead and a prospective semi final berth looking bright.
The 4-3 win meant Eagles finished with six points, same as Egypt but despite the Pharaohs having a healthier goal advantage, the Eagles finished in second place on head-to-head rule, having earlier beaten Egypt 3-2 during their group clash.