Live Commentary: Morocco 3-4 Nigeria (AET) - as it happened
Relive with Sports Mole all the action from the African Nations Championship clash between Morocco and Nigeria.
By Simon Sinclair, Reporter Filed: Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 14:56 UK
Last Updated: Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 20:33 UK
Morocco and Nigeria met in their African Nations Championship quarter-final clash on Saturday for a place in the last four of the competition.
Morocco finished were looking good heading into the game after finishing top of Group B, meanwhile Nigeria qualified for the last eight after finishing second in Group A.
At half time the game looked all but over as Morocco surged into a 3-0 lead, but Nigeria managed to haul themselves back into the game with the aid of a 90th minute equaliser from Ejike Uzoenyi.
That goal inspired them in extra time, as Nigera completed a historic comeback to win the game and advance to the semi-finals of the tournament thanks to a goal from Abubakar Ibrahim as he capitalised on an error from Nadir Lamyaghri.
Read how all the action unfolded in our commentary below.
2.55pmGood afternoon and welcome to the live commentary of the African Nations Championship quarter final clash between Morocco and Nigeria.
2.58pmMOROCCO STARTING XI: Lamyaghri, Oulhaj, Karrouchy, Aberhoune, El Hachimi, Abdessamad, Raki, Moutouali, Fettah, Iajour, El Ouadi
3 minSlow start to the game as both sides look to settle into a rhythm, Morocco have seen more of the ball so far but are yet to produce anything with it.
6 minUzoenyi gets down the right for Nigeria and he whips in a cross looking for the run of Ede into the middle of the but, but Aberhoune gets there ahead of the striker and heads the ball behind for a corner.
7 minFrom the resulting corner, Uzoenyi's delivery from the right isn't quite good enough and Morocco are able to clear their lines with relative ease.
9 minNigeria threaten with a corner again down left this time and the ball is whipped to the backpost where Uzochukwu gets up highest above his marker but his header goes wide of the target.
10 minMorocco go on the attack as El Ouadi gets the ball down the left, he does well to beat his man and Uzochukwu is forced to bring the winger down and present them with a free kick just outside the box.
12 minNigeria clear their lines from the free kick as Kunle heads the ball clear from El Ouadi's effort and then from the resulting corner Egwuekwe backs up his teammates effort as he gets the ball away with a powerful header. The play in the final third of the pitch hasn't been that good so far.
14 minCHANCE! El Ouadi plays a one-two with Iajour to get behind the Nigeria defence and he strikes the ball from inside the box on his right foot and his effort looks to be finding the net before Kunle gets across and makes a vital block to send the ball spiralling upwards, and Uzochukwu finishes the clearance.
16 minEl Ouadi's causing problems down the left as he speeds past Uzoenyi and lifts a cross into the area, but Agbim does extremely well for Nigeria as he collects the ball leaping high into the air to claim it above Iajour. Good keeping there, good call and execution.
17 minCHANCE! A long ball over the top finds the run of Ede down the right for Nigeria, he lifts the ball over Karrouchy and bears down on goal from a tight angle, he has Salami in support down the middle but he choose to go himself and he scuffs his volley past the post. Wasted opportunity.
19 minBoth teams are starting to create chances as the game is opening up slightly, still nothing clear cut as of yet but they are building an attacking rhythm.
22 minNigeria win a free kick down the right as Karrouchy brings down Ede as he tried to get past him again. That gives Nigeria a chance to put the ball into a dangerous area on the angle about 35 yards from goal.
23 minUzoenyi takes the free kick and his delivery from the right is quality on his left foot as he gets the ball right into the six-yard box, but his teammates in the middle spoil it for him, as they're flagged offside as the ball landed in a dangerous area.
25 minBoth defences are playing very well at the moment, they're squeezing the attackers out of space and are winning the majority of their one-on-one duels, which is making for an entertaining contest.
28 minCHANCE! Fettah slides a through ball into the left channel inside the box and Iajour gets free of Kunle for once and latches onto it, he tries a left-footed shot which beats the outstretched hand of Agbim but goes just past the post. That was very close to handing Morocco the lead.
31 minMorocco are in the ascendency as they look in control of possession, and every time Nigeria clear the ball it appears to be coming straight back at them. They need to do something to take the pace out of the game, as their defence cannot keep sustaining the pressure.
33 minMorocco take the lead as they capitalise on an error from Ali as he gets robbed in the centre of the park by El Ouadi who raids forward and then slides a through ball to Moutouali down the right and when inside the box, he chips the oncoming Agbim and his effort finds the net. A lovely finish from the winger.
34 minCHANCE! Nigeria have the chance to get an equaliser immediately as Ede gets the ball in space on the edge of the box, he manages to turn Oulhaj and make room for a shot, but he fires his effort just over the bar. That was a real chance for a leveller there, he could come to rue that miss.
36 minThat might come sooner than Ede thinks as Iajour is fouled right on the edge of the box by Kunle. That presents a golden opportunity for Morocco if they can test Agbim from 20 yards out.
37 minMorocco double their lead as Iajour takes the free kick himself from 20 yards out on the left and he fires an effort over the wall and it dips low into the corner past Agbim, as he tries to get a hand to the ball, but it's too powerful for him to keep out. A great strike by the forward.
38 minNigeria have to compose themselves, they've lost their heads in the last couple of minutes and they can't afford to concede another goal.
40 minMorocco get their third goal of the game and that should seal their place in the semi-finals of the competition. After praising the Nigeria defence not so long ago, it's hard not to criticise them now, as they are cut open down the left with a long ball over the top for Iajour, he threads the ball to El Ouadi, who lays it back to Moutouali to strike on the edge of the area and his low drive finds the bottom corner leaving Agbim no chance.
42 minWhat a complete meltdown from Nigeria in the past 10 minutes. Ever since that mistake from Ali handed Morocco the lead they've folded. Morocco smelt blood and have taken control of this match and should be through to the semi-finals of the competition, as Nigeria look lifeless.
44 minMorocco seem comfortable to take the foot off the gas at the end of the half as they are just knocking the ball around at the back with ease, with no pressure on the ball from Nigeria.
3.55pmMorocco should be advancing into the last four of the competition if they can see out the last 45 minutes of the game, as their 10-minute spell just before the break handed them a three-goal advantage as they showed a clinical edge in front of goal with a brace from Moutouali and a strike from Iajour. Nigeria completely imploded after a mistake from Ali handed Morocco their first and after that it was all downhill.
3.58pmNigeria have it all to do after the break, but they did have a couple of chances as Ede missed a glorious opportunity after Morocco's first to get his side level. So they will take hope out of that, but their finishing will need to be deadly accurate to stand a chance.
4pmThe players are making their way out onto the pitch and we should be underway shortly.
46 minWe're back underway in this quarter-final clash.
49 minThere's hope for Nigeria! They get a goal back immediately in the second half as they move the ball around the edge of the box, before it goes back to Uzochukwu who decides to strike the ball from about 30 yards out and his effort is well struck and finds the corner of the net beating Lamyaghri. An excellent finish but his side still need two more of them to get back in this game.
52 minNigeria win a free kick down the left as Uzoenyi is caught late by Oulhaj and that will give them an excellent chance to threaten again.
53 minThe ball is delivered deep by Uzoenyi to the back post where he finds the run of Kunle, but the ball is just too high for the defender to make good contact with it and his header goes up rather than at goal. Lamyaghri makes a comfortable claim.
56 minNigeria are right back in this game as they get a second goal out of nowhere as a cross is lifted into the box and Ede knocks the ball down for Ali on the edge of the area. He strikes the ball first time on the volley and his effort finds the bottom corner, giving Lamyaghri no chance. Game on here - the defending from Morocco in the second half has been poor to say the least.
58 minMorocco should have been going through to the semi-finals, but their defending since half time has been abject and they've given Nigeria much more than a sniff to get back into this one. Even worse for them they've created nothing and have barely had a touch of the ball.
61 minCHANCE! Morocco have an excellent chance to regain a two-goal lead as Karrouchy raids down the left. He gets to the byeline before he lifts a cross into the area, and Abdessamad is unmarked and powers a header at goal but is denied by a great save by Agbim, who turns the ball over the bar.
63 minThis game is wide open now and it's anyone's guess who will advance to the last four at the moment. Both sides look capable of scoring on every attack, which suits Nigeria very well at the moment.
65 minCHANCE! Nigeria come again and Uzoenyi digs out a cross which evades the head of Imenger in the middle and lands at the feet of Shehu at the back post and he fires his effort over the bar, when he had time to pick his spot. That was a real chance to get an equaliser for Nigeria, they can't afford to waste chances like that.
68 minSHOT! Morocco's turn to attack and they work the ball across the middle before it comes to Oulhaj down the right. He fires a vicious shot at goal, which goes just over the bar. Chances aplenty here.
69 minYELLOW CARD! Uzoenyi is brought down on the edge of the area down the right for Nigeria and they are awarded a free kick, which might be too difficult to fire at goal from the tight angle.
70 minThe free kick is whipped into the near post by Esieme but Lamyaghri manages to punch the ball away before any player in a white shirt can get to the ball. Good keeping.
72 minNow Morocco win a free kick, around 25 yards from goal as Iajour is brought down. Abdessamad stands over the ball and he lets fly with an effort which is on target but doesn't have enough power to beat Agbim, who makes a comfortable save to catch the ball.
74 minA lot of free kicks are being given away at the moment, and Nigeria earn another 30 yards from goal down the right but this one is in line with goal. Ali decides to take the shot on and he fires an effort over the wall but it also goes over the bar. Wasted opportunity there.
77 minSHOT! Uzochukwu raids forward from midfield as he picks the ball up down the middle and he decides to go for goal rather than pass the ball. He miscues his effort, slicing the ball, and his shot goes well wide of the target.
80 minIt's getting close to desperation time for Nigeria as they will be forced to throw everything forward to try to force an equaliser here. They've shown a lot of character in the second half but it might not be enough.
83 minMorocco are doing a good job of keeping possession away from Nigeria and are watching the clock tick closer and closer towards the 90-minute mark. They should have done this a lot earlier.
86 minIajour almost gets through into the box as he beats several challenges on the edge of the area to set up a shooting opportunity, but at the last moment Obanor is there to make the tackle to make sure the striker can't end the game.
90 minNIGERIA GET THEIR EQUALISER! Nigeria come from behind to level this game as Uzonenyi picks up the ball on the edge of the area and beats a couple of challenges before he lets fly with a powerful right-footed shot, which hits the underside of the bar and nestles in the back of the net. What a goal and what a game.
4.55pmWhat an incredible 45 minutes of football. Morocco must have been pretty confident at half time that they would progress to the semi-finals but three goals from Nigeria changed all that and now we're going into extra time. A complete turnaround after the break from both teams; Morocco must be kicking themselves.
93 minSlow start to extra time as both sides look a little jaded. Nigeria won a corner down the left but it was well cleared by the Moroccan defence, while El Ouadi had a raid down the left for Morocco but he tried to take on too many players and was crowded out.
95 minCHANCE! Uzoenyi raids into the area and he gets down the right and tries to shoot at goal from a tight angle. He does extremely well to get an effort at goal, which Lamyaghri does well to save. Imenger is flagged offside from the rebound.
99 minCHANCE! Nigeria should be ahead as Uzoenyi raids down the right again and cuts back onto his left foot and delivers the ball into the area. His cross is perfect for the unmarked Ali six yards from goal but he can't find the target with his header. What a miss that was!
100 minMorocco's turn to threaten as Iajour wins the ball upfield and he plays in El Ouaid down the left. He raids into the box but instead of shooting he decides to try to find the striker with a cross, but his effort is cut out and Nigeria manage to scramble the ball away.
103 minMorocco earn a free kick about 25 yards from goal. This is a good chance to threaten just before the break.
104 minCHANCE! Iajour misses the chance of the game as he somehow puts his effort wide from two yards out and the goal at his mercy. El Ouadi took the free kick quickly and knocked it down the line for the unmarked Karrouchy, who hit a first-time cross for the striker in the middle, who couldn't finish the move off. That's one of the worst you will see, he didn't just put it wide, he put it high and wide. That didn't have much going for it at all.
109 minSHOT! Shehu tries his luck from the edge of the area after Morocco fail to clear their lines following a cross into the box. He makes good connection with his effort but it goes just wide of the post. Lamyaghri seemed quite comfortable that that shot was going wide.
112 minNIGERIA TAKE THE LEAD! Incredible scenes as Nigeria come from three goals down to take the lead in this quarter-final clash, and it's a horror show from Lamyaghri as he can't gather Uzoenyi's cross. He spills the ball right into the path of Ibrahim two yards from goal and the striker makes no mistake slotting the ball into the net.
113 minUnbelievable. After taking a 3-0 lead after 41 minutes in the game, it's now Morocco who are in dire need of a goal to stay in the competition. What a comeback from Nigeria.
115 minThat task is looking harder by the second for Morocco as Nigeria are winning the battles in midfield and are taking time off the clock by running the ball into the corner. Time is running out for Morocco.
117 minMorocco waste a good chance to get their equaliser from a free kick as Aberhoune is flagged for offside in the penalty area from El Ouadi's chip into the box. It's all a bit desperate for Morocco now.
119 minImeneger blasts an effort over the bar and then sees his effort cleared off the line as he lobbed Lamyaghri but Karrouchy was there to boot the ball away. It's make or break for Morocco now as they are flinging men forward which leaves them open at the back.
121 minObanor has a crack at goal from the halfway line and Lamyaghri is not expecting the effort and has to scramble down quickly to his right to make the save. A great effort. Nigeria more likely to score at this stage than Morocco.
5.35pmIncredible scenes as Nigeria advance to the last four of the African Nations Championship after coming back from 3-0 down after the first 45 minutes of the game to beat Morocco 4-3 after extra time. It was an excellent effort from the players who never gave up despite a miserable first half, and going into extra time there appeared to be only one winner as a costly mistake from Morocco keeper Nadir Lamyaghri handed Abubakar Ibrahim the chance to hit his side into the semi-finals and he duly slotted the ball home.
5.40pmMorocco will be kicking themselves after letting their three-goal lead slip. They looked edgy after half time and Nigeria took advantage of those nerves to get back into the game and draw level after 90 minutes. Even during extra time they could have won the game but Iajour missed an absolute sitter and that seemed to deflate them even further and then Lamyaghri made the crucial error to hand Nigeria the win to put them into the last four of the tournament.
5.45pmWhat a game, eh? We can only hope the rest of the quarter-finals live up to the standard of this one. That's it from me today. Until next time, goodbye.