By Sammy Heywood Okine
Nigeria defeated Ghana 4-3 on Thursday in their final game of the 2016 Africa Beach Soccer Cup of Nations.
The game was three all before the hosts snatched a late winner to book a place in the semi-finals.
Ghana lost their first game 5-0 on Tuesday against Ivory Coast, before suffering a 5-4 defeat on Wednesday to Egypt and finally lost 4-3 against the hosts Nigeria on Thursday.
Prior to their game against Nigeria they had already been kicked out of the competition, so had nothing at stake in their game against Nigeria.
Despite, losing all their three games, the coach of the Black Sharks, Neequaye is optimistic his team has improved.
“Although, we failed to win any game, I think it was an improved performance over the previous once, because in the past we used to lose by huge margins.
“I believe the future of Beach Soccer in Ghana is very bright,” he said. Ghana featured relatively young team and many observers of the game believe Ghana has a very bright future.
President of the Ghana Beach Soccer Association said Ghana has no excuse however most of the decisions of the match officials did not favour the Sharks and he prayed that next time they will attract the favour of the referees to win handsomely.
Nigeria will face Morocco while Senegal clash with Egypt in the semi final matches.
Two-time winners Nigeria did the necessary to qualify as they beat Ghana 4-3. Needing a win, in extra-time or normal-time, the hosts threw away a lead in a contest that saw the opening four goals come in the space of two third-period minutes.
Having battled back to lead going into the final three minutes, Nigeria were hauled level before Tale struck the winner with a minute from time to take the Super Sand Eagles into the final four and one win away from next year’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
Morocco downed defending CAF Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations champions Madagascar 2-1 to ensure their spot in the semi-finals at the holders’ expense.
With both sides on three points prior to the contest, and Senegal confirmed as Group B winners, the pool finale was winner-take-all – Morocco making the ideal start as they amassed a two-goal lead midway through the second period.
Ymelda’s goal prompted a Madagascan response but the champions fell short while Egypt qualified with a 4-2 win over Ivory Coast, which ultimately ended Ivorian hopes of progression.
While the Ivory Coast battled back to equalise twice, Abo and Mohamed struck in the final period to ensure themselves top spot.
Senegal sent an ominous message to their semi-final rivals as they signed off their group campaign with a 10-2 win against Libya.
Oumar Sylla’s men were already guaranteed a semi-final berth after their opening two wins but a four-goal haul from Diassy as well as a brace from Sylla helped see off a Libya side who finish without a point at the foot of Group B