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Nigeria crushes Belgium 4-1 to reach men's soccer final

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Nigeria crushes Belgium 4-1 to reach men's soccer final

Post  Admin on Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:24 pm

SHANGHAI, China (AP) -- Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi scored two goals, including one from 30 meters, as Nigeria reached the Olympic football final with a 4-1 victory over Belgium. The 1996 Olympic gold medalists will face defending champion Argentina, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the other semifinal.

Nigeria took control Tuesday with goals by Olubayo Adefemi (17 minutes) and Ogbuke Obasi (59, 72) before Chibuzor Okonkwo added a fourth in the 76th.
Belgium replied two minutes from the end with a 25-meter free kick from Laurent Ciman.

"It's just wonderful," coach Samson Siasia said. "It's great. I want to applaud the players for their performance."
But he said he was about to take off Ogbuke Obasi when he scored his 30-meter shot.

"He had worked very hard so I wanted to change him to give him some rest before the final," Siasia said. "But before I could change him he scored a fantastic goal. I'm glad he did." The two-goal attacking midfielder deflected the praise. "I'm glad at the end I got two goals, but it's all about teamwork," Ogbuke Obasi said. "I cannot take the credit at all."

Belgium had only three outfield players to send on as substitutes after Thomas Vermaelen was suspended for the game and Vincent Kompany was called back to play for German club Hamburg.

Although Belgium still has a chance of winning the bronze medal, its defeat means that no European team has won this title since Spain in 1992.Nigeria went ahead when Okonkwo's shot was half-blocked by a defender but the ball slipped through to Adefemi, whose drive went under the goalkeeper's body into the far corner.

The Belgians, who came from a goal behind and down to 10 men to beat Italy 3-2 in the quarterfinals, went close several times.In the 54th, Moussa Dembele brilliantly retrieved a ball that seemed to be going out and pulled it back to Faris Haroun, whose shot was pushed onto the crossbar by Vanzekin. From the corner, left back Sebastian Pocognoli's powerful low shot was blocked by the goalkeeper at the foot of the post.

But Nigeria substitute Victor Anichebe crossed low from the right and Ogbuke Obasi was left on his own to slide the ball past Bailly from 10 meters, the Belgian defenders with their arms raised in a vain appeal for offside.

Three minutes later Anichebe missed an easy chance when a cross from Ekpo found him at the far post, only two meters out with even the goalkeeper off his line. But the Everton striker sliced his shot wide of an empty goal.After that came probably the goal of the competition.

When Victor Obinna collected the ball outside the area, the Belgians had plenty of men back to cover the situation. Instead, he teed up a shot from 30 meters for Ogbuke Obasi and his rising drive flashed past Bailly and inside his near post.Okonkwo made it four with a 25-meter shot that went in off the inside of the post. Emmanuel Ekpo almost scored from 30 meters but Bailly pushed it around the post with an acrobatic dive to his left.

Argentina has Sergio Aguero to thank for its victory over Brazil.Aguero opened the scoring for the defending champions by chesting in a left-side cross in the 52nd minute, then six minutes later added to the lead from two meters away completing a cross from the right in the 58th. Aguero also set up a 76th-minute penalty kick converted by Juan Riquelme.Argentina, trying to become the first nation to win consecutive titles in 40 years, will now face Nigeria in a rematch of the 1996 final in Atlanta, when the Africans won 3-2 for their first and only title.


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Re: Nigeria crushes Belgium 4-1 to reach men's soccer final

Post  Admin on Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:24 pm

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Basketball cheers


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