By Sab Osuji, (pix: Ganiyu Yusuf) at Eko Atlantic Beach:
Nigeria Supersand Eagles captain, Isiaka Olawale has confessed that the Pharaohs of Egypt beach soccer team gave them tough time during Tuesday's CAF Beach Soccer Nations Cup clash at Eko Atlantic Beach, Lagos Nigeria, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Nigeria won the game 3-2 after taking a 2-0 lead which the Egyptians later cancelled out before Emeka Ogbonna scored the eventual match winner in the final period of the game.
"We knew the game was going to be tough. Egypt just came back from a beach soccer tournament in Dubai before the game, so it was evident they were up for something," Olawale, a former defunct Dolphins FC and Kwara United midfielder told Completesportsnigeria.com.
"They attendended two different tournaments before coming Beach AFCON , so they were really going to be tough."
The veteran beach soccer star recalled that it was not the first time Egypt would stand stoically ready for a make or mar beach clash against the Super Sand Eagles.
He added: "The last time we met them, it was a similar situation. The first period ended goalless but we eventually won in the third period 4-1.
"I thank God we scored in the first period and that made things a bit easier but when they recovered to equalize, it was a case of survival of the fittest and I'm happy we eventually turned out to be the fitter side of the two."
The Sand Eagles will be up against fellow West African side and group leaders, Ivory Coast in the second match of the campaign tonight(Wednesday) , December 14 at the Eko Atlantic Beach Lagos.
"We respect Ivory Coast, they are a good side, they are on top of our group at the moment," Olawale told Completesportsnigeria.com.
"But we hope to win against them before our last group match against Ghana so that we can lead the Group A.
"It will be a difficult game no doubt, but I recall the last time we met them during last year's tournament in Seychelles, we beat them twice.
"So, our target is to win and we are determined to do that in today's game."
The Nigeria captain is looking forward to booking a place in next year's FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup finals in Bahamas.
"Our objective in this competition is to win and qualify for the World Cup.
"We missed out in the last two editions and we don't want to be absent in next year's edition in the Bahamas", Olawale told Completesportsnigeria.com.