CHAN: Squirrels beat home-based Eagles in Cotonou

Dele Ajiboye- Warri Wolves

Benin Republic has defeeated the Nigerian soccer team which consisted of mainly home-based Super Eagles in the first leg of the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier inside the Stade de L'Amitie in Cotonou on Sunday.

After a goalless 89 minutes of play, Nigeria's Azeez Aremu fouled Marceline Koukpo inside the penalty area to hand the Squirrels a chance to grab their first ever win against Nigeria.

The hosts dominated the first half as they overran the CHAN Eagles in the middle of the park, but they could not translate such dominance into goals.

The Beninoise began the game stronger.

The CHAN Eagles will hope to turn the table in the second leg, which comes up next weekend in Kano.

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Nigeria showed a lot more after the interval as they brought on NPFL hotshot Stephen Odey for Thomas Zenke and Alhassan Ibrahim replaced Rabiu Ali before the hour mark.

The 2018 CHAN will be hosted by Kenya and is scheduled to take place between January 11 and February 2 2018.

The only goal of the game came via a penalty in the 90th minute.

Captain/goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa pulled a good save for Nigeria before the Squirrels were awarded a penalty in the 88th minute.

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