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African Games: Flying Eagles qualify for football final

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Nigeria’s Flying Eagles are through to the final match of the African Games after a hectic 120-minute battle with Mali.

The Nigerian side survived the tough encounter under intense heat and scaled through 4-3 on penalties after a goalless encounter.

Tuesday’s victory is perfect revenge for coach Paul Aigbogun’s men who were edged out in the semi-final stage of the African Youth Championships by the same Malian team earlier in the year.

To get to this stage in Morocco, the Flying Eagles drew with Burkina Faso (1-1) and Morocco (2-2) and defeated South Africa (2-1) to reach the last four at this tournament.

This will be the first time Nigeria will play the final match in the African Games since their 0-1 loss to Algeria in 1978.

Aside from the gold medal of the football event won on home soil in 1973 in Lagos, the football gold has been elusive for Nigeria ever since.

Interestingly, the Nigeria U-20 female team, the Falconets, also thrashed their counterparts from Algeria 3-0 on Monday to qualify for the final of the football event at the ongoing African Games in Morocco.

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