Flying Eagles duo of Habib Yakubu and Rabiu Mohammed Zulkifilu have expressed their happiness at their qualification for the final of the 12th African Games in Morocco after they defeated Mali on penalties on Tuesday.
The semi-final game had ended goalless at the end of the regulation time including extra time before Nigeria still managed to pip the Malians on penalties despite missing their opening three spot-kicks.
Yakubu and his teammate, Zulkifilu played a pivotal role in the heart of defence for the Flying Eagles and they revealed to SportingLife that they are thrilled that they were able to beat the Malians this term after two agonising losses to the same side in Togo and Niger Republic.
“The game was nice,” Yakubu told SportingLife.
“It was tough and challenging but we know we have good coaches that whose tactics can help us to win. We made use of what we were told and we are delighted that we won.”
Zulkifilu who plies his trade with Plateau United in the Nigerian topflight also stated that he was happy that they zoomed to the final of the African Games but that he was hurt to lose his spot-kick.
“I want to express my appreciation that we won because i won’t have forgiven myself if we had lost after missing my penalty kick,” Zulkifilu explained in a chat to SportingLife.
Nigeria will face Burkina Faso on Friday in the final of the football event of the ongoing African Games. It is a repeat of the group stage tie which ended 1-1.