Nigeria’s Flying Eagles displayed good character to overcome a determined Cote d’Ivoire 2-1 in an explosive semi-final match to reach the final of the ongoing WAFU B U20 Championship in Niamey.
Reaching the final also means the Nigerian team have qualified for the Africa U20 Cup of Nations taking place in Egypt next year.
Productive midfielder Daniel Daga put Nigeria in front after only five minutes when he cleverly escaped the attention of the Ivorian defenders to nod in from a well-weighted pull-out.
The seven-time African champions then launched onslaught after onslaught on the Ivorian goal but failed to add to the tally, before the Ivorians equalized just before halftime from an intelligently-taken free-kick at the edge of Nigeria’s eighteen-yard box.
Neither team could find another goal to gain upper hand before the end of regulation time inside the Stade General Seyni Kountché, and the game went into extra time.
Forward Ibrahim Yahaya got the winner for Nigeria in the 111th minute of play when he converted a penalty spot to make it 2-1.
Nigeria will take on the Benin Republic in Saturday’s final.
Head Coach of Nigeria’s U-20 male team (Flying Eagles) Ladan Bosso has called up 40 players for next month’s WAFU B U-20 Championship taking place in Niamey, capital of Niger Republic.
The list has four goalkeepers, 12 midfielders, 17 midfielders, and seven forwards.
Invited players have been advised to arrive at the Blue Spring Hotel, opposite the Ministry of Justice (Maitama), Abuja on Monday, 18th April with their international passports, according to Team Secretary Aliyu Lawal Ibrahim.
Seven-time African champions, the Flying Eagles will play in Group B of the WAFU B Championship alongside Ghana and Burkina Faso, with the tournament scheduled for 7th – 20th May in Niamey. Hosts Niger Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, and the Benin Republic will contend in Group A.
Only the two finalists will qualify from the WAFU B zone to participate in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets have qualified for the final of the WAFU U-17 tournament in Lome, Togo, following a 1-0 win over Group A winners Burkina Faso at the Stade Kegue.
The victory means the Golden Eaglets are now not only eligible to battle for the trophy on Wednesday, but have also booked their place for the 2021 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations scheduled for 13th – 31st March this year in Morocco.
Michael Emmanuel Papo gave Nigeria, who also won the African championship in 2001 and 2007, the crucial ticket with his 77th-minute goal, with the Burkinabes unable to respond until the final whistle.
Prior to the Ivory Coast match, the Nigerian side had raised the alarm that there is a conspiracy against the team. The team had arrived the Togolese capital, Lome before their opponents but their Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) tests were not initially moved before it was conducted.
Good news…. “The Golden Eaglets of @thenff all had their MRI tests done last night after the uproar in the media and the complaints from the Nigerian camp. The team is good to go against the Ivoriens today from 5PM”. @UfoawafuB@CAF_Online@FIFAcom Francis Achi Media Officer
Five-time world champions, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire will file out for the first match of Group B at the West African Football Union (WAFU) B Tournament on Wednesday evening with both teams hoping to secure maximum points at Lome’s Stade Municipal.
With Group B having only three teams, with each team playing only two matches, it is a more difficult prospect and any team that loses its first game will be in a difficult situation and could be staring down the barrel of elimination from the first game.
Nigeria’s Head Coach Fatai Amoo is confident his young team can step up to the billing with bookmakers believing the five-time world champions are favourites to take the lead in a pool that has two-time world champions Ghana as the other contenders.
“We know what we are in for – it is not going to be a stroll. This is a fierce competition going by the caliber of opponents we have to battle right from the group stage. However, if we must qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations, we have to conquer all on our way to get there,” he said.
“Our focus is to get a good result from the first game and then consolidating as the tournament progresses. We are here for business; we will not under-rate any team or think there is a team that is too tough to conquer. Our objective on Wednesday is the three points at stake and then we take things from there.”
Three points on Wednesday would set the Eaglets on a good bounce at the tournament that always serves as a qualifying competition for this year’s CAF U17 Cup of Nations taking place in the North African kingdom of Morocco.
It will also serve as a morale-booster ahead of the potentially explosive clash with arch-rivals Ghana at the same venue on Saturday.
Both countries have seven cadet world titles between them, and clashes between them at any level usually have an extra edge.
Recall the Flying Eagles lost to Ghana at the U-20 WAFU B tournament in Lome weeks ago, the Golden Eaglets will do all they can to avoid a repeat of such a result.
Nigeria’s U-17 team, the Golden Eaglets have left the country for the West African Football Union (WAFU B) U17 Tournament taking place in Lome, Togo from 5th – 20th January 2021.
The five-time world champions Nigeria and three-time world champions Ghana will headline the seven-team that will feature at the competition which serves as a qualifying process for this year’s CAF U17 Cup of Nations taking place in Morocco.
Pedigree, pride and career aspiration aside, the Eaglets are sure to derive some kind of vicarious motivation from the below-par outing of the Nigeria U20 Boys at the WAFU B U20 Tournament in Benin Republic last month.
Nigeria conquered the world in 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015, and alongside Ghana have dominated cadet football on the African continent, with Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal to be reckoned with as well on the basis of investment and focus on youth development.
The Eaglets’ first encounter in Lome will be against the Ivorians, at the Stade Municipal on Wednesday from 4pm, and should serve as a pointer to how much the Eaglets are keen to conquer Africa again.
On Saturday at the same venue, they clash with Ghana’s Black Starlets in a potentially explosive encounter between two teams with eight world titles between them.
Hosts Togo will open the two-week tournament against the Niger Republic at the Stade Kegue on Tuesday, hours before Group A’s other teams the Benin Republic and Burkina Faso clash at the same venue. Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire make up the three-team Group B.
Cote d’Ivoire U-20 team forced Nigeria to a 1-1 draw in the 2020 WAFU B U-20 Cup of Nations group B game at the Stade Charles de Gaulles.
Ousmane Traore’s stoppage-time strike earned the Baby Elephants a share of the spoils in Port Novo, Benin Republic.
In a keenly contested game, the Flying Eagles put up a very determined performance despite the red card picked up by a defender, ChristopherNwaeze. Nwaeze’s goal put Ladan Bosso side on course for an opening Group B win, but the young Ivorians secured a late consolation goal.
Both sides created chances in an entertaining first half, with Peter Olawale and Nwaeze coming close for Nigeria. The contest continued was evenly balanced in the opening 45 minutes, although Nigeria was having more joy in cutting out Cote d’Ivoire attacks.
The curtain raiser eventually arrived on the hour mark. Crafty forward Wisdom Ubani sent an excellent delivery to the box and Nwaeze showed gratitude with a brilliant header beyond the keeper.
The Flying Eagles were in complete control of the game until Nwaeze received a red card for a second bookable offence in the 71st minute of the encounter.
Despite playing with a man down, the determined Flying Eagles maintained their discipline and tactical awareness. But, in the first minute of added time, Traoré struck the equaliser and it ended 1-1 in Port Novo.
The Ladan Bosso wards showed great strength in the opening game and will be looking at positives ahead of the clash with Ghana. The tournament in the Benin Republic will serve as qualifiers for the 2021 Africa U20 Cup of Nations in Mauritania, which will, in turn, determine Africa’s representatives for the 2021 Fifa U20 World Cup in Indonesia.
The Flying Eagles who are in Group B will continue their campaign against Ghana’s Black Satellites on Wednesday at the Stade Charles de Gaulles in Porto Novo.
Head Coach Isa Ladan Bosso has picked his 20 -man squad that will contest for the WAFU B Cup of Nations taking place in Porto Novo, Benin Republic next month.
The competition scheduled for 5th – 20th December, will also serve as the qualifying tournament for the 2021 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations that will be hosted by Mauritania.
The team is made up of players from former national youth sides fused with discoveries from the grassroots.
Abia Warriors goalkeeper Chibueze Lambert leads the group that includes the trio of Wisdom Ubani, Charles Etim and Peter Olawale who played for the Golden Eaglets at the last FIFA U17 World Cup finals in Brazil. Plateau United’s duo of Mike Zaruma and Nenrot Silas also made the cut while Kwara United’s Christopher Nwaeze, Isaiah Ejeh and Farayola Olawale are also in the mix.
Nigeria’s U-20 and U-17 teams have been presented with tough tasks in the qualifying routes for next year’s youth continental championships.
At the draw ceremony, seven-time African champions, Flying Eagles of Nigeria were drawn in the same Group B with Ghana’s Black Satellites and the Junior Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire for the WAFU B U20 Tournament scheduled for 18th November – 2nd December in Togo.
Hosts Togo, Niger Republic, Benin Republic and Burkina Faso will battle it out in Group A, the champion team will qualify to represent the zone at the 2021 U20 Africa Cup of Nations that will take place in Mauritania.
Also, the WAFU B secretariat has concluded the draw for the U-17 championship holding in Benin Republic in December.
Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets, champions of Africa in 2001 and 2007, and five-time world champions, will contend with the Black Starlets of Ghana and the Baby Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire also in Group B.
The tournament action will take place from 5th – 20th December 2020.
Group A has hosts Benin Republic, Niger Republic, Burkina Faso and Togo. The winner of the tournament will represent the zone at the 2021 U17 Africa Cup of Nations that will take place in Morocco in the month of March.
Goalkeepers Alaba Jonathan, Christy Ohiaeriaku and Chiamaka Nnadozie will contest for the number one position with Oluehi, who maintained her place among the sticks as the Falcons won a ninth African title in Ghana last year and has kept the position ever since.
All invited players have been asked to report to camp in Abuja on Sunday, 28th April as training sessions would commence on Monday, 29th April.
The tournament will begin on May 8 to 18 with the Super Falcons to play in Group B alongside Burkina Faso, Niger Republic and Mali. Host nation Cote d’Ivoire will tackle Senegal, Togo and Ghana in Group A.