Nigeria edge all-African duel
© Foto-net

In a repeat of the African qualifying competition, Nigeria's Flying Eagles had too much experience for their Zambian opponents, the Copper Bullets, who battled bravely before going down to a 2-1 defeat.

The eagerly-anticipated all-African showdown, taking place on 12 July in Ottawa, did not take long to get going. Nigeria, runners-up at Netherlands 2005, struck the first blow after just three minutes, a powerful header from Uwa Echiejile doing the damage. Zambia, meanwhile, appeared somewhat out of their depth, keeper Jacob Banda having to be at his agile best to prevent the Flying Eagles extending their lead. However, a moment's indecision in the Nigerian backline let in Emmanuel Mayuka, who crossed for Rodgers Kola to level the game on the 33-minute mark.

The stormy conditions that had plagued the first half eased after the interval, the sun finally emerging from behind the clouds. And with it came the decisive goal, Chukwuma Akabueze powering home a strike on 57 minutes worthy of winning any game. The scoreline would stay that way, despite the host of clear-cut chances that fell to both sides before the 90 minutes were up.

Next up for the Flying Eagles is a trip to Montreal, where they will face either Chile or Portugal in the quarter-finals. The Copper Bullets, for their part, can make the long journey back to Zambia with their heads held high.