NIGERIA STUMBLE OUT OF CHAN RECKONING

Nigeria was eliminated in the final qualifying round of the 2020 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) despite a 2-0 win over Togo on Saturday.

Runners-up in the previous edition in 2018, Imama Amapakabo’s side came into the second leg of their qualifier looking to redress a 4-1 away deficit incurred three weeks prior, and featured a number of changes to the side that was humbled in Lome.

Those alterations looked to make the difference, as Nigeria dominated from the opening whistle at the Agege Stadium, pegging the visitors back early as they sought an early goal to inspire belief.

It looked as though the comeback was on when Sikiru Alimi broke the deadlock only eight minutes in, reducing the aggregate arrears to just two goals. However, there ensued a litany of missed opportunities as Togo hung on tenaciously.

Alimi would once again chip away at the arrears, that time with 18 minutes left of regulation time. Despite a staggering stoppage-time allocation of 10 minutes, Nigeria were unable to force home a decisive third, and exited 4-3 on aggregate in what was a monumental upset.

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