Emeka Chinonso: When Coach Aigbogun’s Confidence Pays Off In Africa Games

Emeka Chinonso: When Coach Aigbogun’s Confidence Pays Off In Africa Games
0 comments, 24/08/2019, by , in CAF, Football

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Nobody saw it coming, but the coach has total confidence in him and like an event where the best is reserved for the last, so coach Paul Aigbogun reserved Emeka Chinonso for the last magical moment as the U-20 male national team, Flying Eagles, Friday ensured that host nation, Morocco will not be in the medals podium in the football event of the ongoing 12th edition of Africa Games in Rabat, Best Choice Sports Editor, Amaechi Agbo, writes.

It was a match Nigeria needed a draw to progress and not unexpectedly, the Moroccans had the ball at their possession, created chances, utilised few of them but the dogged young Nigeria Eagles were not cowed. Not even the threat and marauding of the Yong Lions scared them even when Young Eagles were pinned on the ground but their wings wear not plucked.

Flying Eagles were trailing by 2-1, a dangerous and energy-sapping situation to all Nigerians because a loss would have doomed the Flying Eagles podium finish in the football event.

Flying Eagles head coach, Paul Aigbogun

Prior to the match, the team recorded a draw and a win against Burkina Faso and South Africa in a 1-1, 2-1 scorelines, respectively to garner 4 points same number as the host and their Friday opponents, Morocco.

Trailing 2-1 with the clock ticking away at alarming speed, Coach Aigbodun looked unworried in the technical bench and so he unleashed his tiger among the Eagles, Emeka Chinonso to devour the Moroccans.

Chinonso, Water FC of Abuja prodigy became a game changer as he made instant impact minutes after his introduction with his speed, ball positioning and movement all providing unwelcome setback for the Moroccans.

And it was not long before he struck the dead blow and the needed strike that sent Nigerians in the stadium to wide jubilation as against the moroccans total shock and dismay.

Chinonso who was in the 2019 U-20 World Cup but did not get a chance to play, debuted as a substitute in the Africa Games in the match against South Africa which his team won, and again came in for Nigeria when they were a goal down and looking to be on their way out of the competition.

His 89th minute goal shot Nigeria into the semi-finals having finished second on the log behind Burkina Faso.

And with this feat achieved, the team are closer to achieving their target of lifting the expected gold with only 180 minutes of further battle separating them from climbing the podium for the gold medal. 

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