Nigeria has qualified for the final of the Champions of Africa Nation 2018.
The Super Eagles defeated a strong side Sudan by 1-0 in the semi-final match played on Wednesday.
Coach Salisu yusuf led home-base Eagles will slug it out with Morocco- the host of the biennial tournament on Sunday for the final.
Super Eagles Striker Gabriel Okechukwu hit the back of the net in the 16th minutes to secure the home-base player?s place in the final
The CHAN Eagles semifinal match followed the Morocco? semi-final clash with Libya earlier in the day to book a place in the final as they won by 3-1.
Despite a cagey opening minutes, Nigeria created a chance of their own. Rabiu Ali sent his shot off target after good work from Austine Oladapo and Dayo Ojo.
A rampaging Mohamed Hisham stole in behind Stephen Eze to latch on to Saifeldin Malik?s intelligent pass but Eagles skipper Ikechukwu Ezenwa was brave enough to pull off the save and hurt his ankle in the process.
Plateau United goalie Dele Ajiboye came off the bench to replace the injured Ezenwa for his CHAN debut.
The Eagles drew the curtain raiser thanks to an excellent finish by Gabriel Okechukwu in the 16th minute. Austine Okpotu flicked the ball to the Akwa United striker?s path and he showed gratitude with a low finish beyond Akram Elhadi.
Nigeria kept pressing the opposition on the high line and soon attacked again. Oladapo delivered a tailor made pass to Okechukwu whose low grounder beat the keeper and narrowly went wide.
Ajiboye was called to action on the half hour as he showed awareness to pull off a save from Mohamed Bashir?s ambitious long range effort.
In a bid to at least level matters before recess, the Falcons launched a counter attack which caught the Eagles unawares. A quality cross from the right flank by Maaz Abdelrahim was wasted by Saifeldin from close range.
The Sudanese team were unlucky not to equalise in the 40th minute. A well crafted team move eventually saw the land at the feet of Bashir. The forward fired tamely to the waiting arms of Ajiboye.
Bashir will again be the culprit on two occasions in the space of thirty seconds as Ajiboye repaid the faith shown in him by coach Yusuf Salisu.
The former youth international showed composure to make a save after Bashir poked the ball before diving at full stretch following a powerful header from the forward.
The action packed first half ended 1-0 in favour of Nigeria.
Nigeria attacked at fast pace at resumption with the wonderful combination of Ali and Ojo at the middle of the park a delight to watch.
Ojo turned provider for Okechukwu who shot straight at Akram. The Akwa United striker then carved out space for himself and released a bullet which couldn?t trouble the Sudanese goalkeeper.
Ajiboye continued to be crucial for Nigeria when he foiled Maaz. The winger was through on goal and had Ajiboye at his mercy but his effort was well stopped by the 2007 FIFA U17 World Cup winner.
Nigeria soon went down to 10 men when Ifeanyi Ifeanyi earned his second booking for a clumsy tackle.
With the numerical advantage, Sudan threw more men forward and this made Nigeria become more cautious.
In one of his forays upfront, Latif Saeed saw his volley acrobatically kept out by Ajiboye. Osas Okoro made a goal line clearance from the resultant corner kick.
Sudan were also down to 10 men in the 88th minute. Goal bound Ojo was illegally tackled by Bakri Bachir and the referee had to reach out to his pocket and sent him off.
The impressive Ajiboye pulled off two point blank saves at injury time as Nigeria sealed their place in the final of the competition for the time.
See match Commentary and highlights below
FULL TIME!!!! Nigeria 1-0 Sudan.
See match Commentary below
FULL TIME!!!! Nigeria 1-0 Sudan.
90′ SAVE!!!! Ajiboye again with a save to keep the Eagles ahead.
88′ CHANCE!!!! Osas (Nigeria) takes the free kick but it flies wide.
87′ RED CARD!!!!! Bachir Sudan has been shown the REd card for a foul on a Nigerian player just outside their box.
82′ SAVE!!!!! Sahid shoots but Ajiboye (Nigeria) pulls another great save to keep Sudan away. Ajiboye who came in for Ezenwa earlier in the game has been spectacular for the Eagles.
79′ CHANCE!!! Mustapha Ibrahim (Nigeria) nearly makes a mark after coming in as he connects with a cross with his head but he directs his nodding wide.
77′ SUBSTITUTION!!! (Nigeria) Mustapha Ibrahim is in for Rabiu Ali.
75′ Nigeria is not playing like thay are one man down as they are dominating possesion now.
71′ WIDE!!!! Osadebam hits a long range shot but it flies wide. Nigeria 1-0 Sudan.
65′ SUBSTITUTION (SUdan) Maaz is out for Atahir.
61′ SUBSTITUTION!!! (Nigeria) Abdullahi Musa of Wikki Tourists comes in for Lobi Stars forward, Okpotu.
58′ RED CARD!!! Ifeanyi Ifeanyi gets his second Yellow card and he is out. Nigeria will have to see the match through with 10 men.
54′ SAVE!!!! Ajiboye (Nigeria) is the saviour as he saves from a shot after a good team work from Sudan.
49′ Nigeria are pressing and Ekundayo hits a shot that Akram saves again.
46′ CHANCE!!! Gabriel (Nigeria) is released. He gets into a shooting position but Akram comfortably save from his shot.
HALF TIME!!!! Nigeria 1:0 Sudan.
45′ ATTEMPT!!! Gabriel (Nigeria) attempts an ambitious effort from the midfield that goes well wide the post.
44′ SAVE!!! Ajiboye (Nigeria) shows a good reflex to deny Sudan once more as he puils a well taking nodding away to ensure the Eagles maintain their lead going into the interval.
39′ CHANCE!!! (Sudan) Mohammed gets the ball in the Nigerian box, controls well before unleashing a shot but Ajiboye collects easily.
34′ CHANCE!!! (Sudan) Saifeldi nods wide after a fast break.
31′ OFFSIDE!!! Okpotu (Nigeria) gets the ball from the deep but he is flagged offside.
27′ Sudan are trying to press high while Nigeria on the other hand, opt for long passes from the deep but the game is balance except for the one goal advantage to the Eagles.
19′ CHANCE!!!! Okpotu (Nigeria) gets a long pass from the midfield, races forward before trying to place the ball but the goalkeeper blocks.
16′ G-O-A-L!!!!! Okechukwu Gabriel puts Nigeria up after receiving a flick from Okpotu. NGA 1-0 Sudan.
11′ SUBSTITUTION!!! (Nigeria) Goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa is out for Oladele Ajiboye as a result of injury.
6′ INJURY!!! (Nigeria) Goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa is down injured and he is being treated.
5′ Sloppy defending by the Eagles gave Sudan the opportunity to take the lead but Ikechukwu Ezenwa is on ground to stop the move.
Sudan XI :Akram, Omer, Samawal, Bakri, Abdel, Mohamed, Mohamed, Abuaagla, Nasreldi, Maaz, Saifeldi
Substitutes: Awadelka, Monged, Hamza, Atahir, Mohamed, Hussein, Ahmed, Tajeldin, Eltaher, Mohamed, Walaa
Nigeria XI: Ikechukw, Stephen Eze, Kalu Orj, Osadebam, Ikouwem, Ekundayo, Ifeanyi, Augustin, Rabiu Ali
Substitutes: Oladele, Theophilous, Abdullahi, Ifeanyi, Timothy, Mohammed, Emeka, Ibrahim, Chukwudi, Eneji
The national anthem follows.
The teams are out on the pitch now.
The home-based national football team, Super Eagles tackle Sudan for a final ticket at the ongoing African Nations Championships, CHAN, in Morocco.