Both (Port-Harcourt) teams representing Nigeria in the male and female categories of the Airtel Rising Stars football tournament crashed out of the semi-finals on penalties at the Agege Stadium on Saturday.
In the female semi-final Nigeria eventually lost 2-3 to Kenya on penalties as the side failed to convert three of their five penalty shootouts.
Their failure to finish off some purposeful attack cost them victory as Agbude Edore failed to convert what was the Nigerians’ best chance of the first-half, after beating the goalkeeper. The game ended scoreless after 90 minutes and the Kenyans are now though to the final.
In the men’s semi-final, Nigeria fought back to level-up scores against the defending champions from Niger, who opened scoring within minutes of kickoff, through Maikano’s brilliant header.
Gambo Yakubu also missed the host nation’s opportunity to claim victory following his inability to convert an open sitter.
Niger will now play in their second successive finals of the tournament after winning the penalty shootout 8-7.
They face Zambia, who also eliminated Tanzania 4-3 via penalties in the other semi-final that ended 1-1 after 90 minutes.