It was another sad day in Nigerian football as Nigeria missed another chance to be represented on the continental stage once again. In a ...
It was another sad day in Nigerian football as Nigeria missed another chance to be represented on the continental stage once again. In a game that needed to be won or drawn, the Flying Eagles of Nigeria were beaten by the Sudanese U20 4-3 on a wet evening at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos. The Flying Eagles who had earlier won the reverse fixture by 2-1 were unable to hold on to a draw as the Sudanese team was able to grab a winner towards the end of the game and would send the Flying Eagles packing on away goals after a 5-5 aggregate.
The Flying Eagles were quick of the mark as they went ahead courtesy of a brilliant solo goal by Samuel Chukwueze in the 15th minute beating two defenders in the process before hitting the back of the net. The next ten minutes would see of action would see two goals being scored. Amghd Ahmed would equalize for the Sudanese team in the 21st minute before Bamgboye would reply quickly by tapping in a cross from Chukwueze in the 26th minute.
With a Victor Osimhen effort ruled out for offside earlier, Halid Abdamuleem would make it 2-2 for Sudan but the Eagles would go into the break leading still on a 4-3 aggregate.
The second half would start as-you-were for both teams but the Flying Eagles would see themselves fall behind for the first time in the game after Walaadihh Musa put the Sudanese team up in the 56th, Emmanuel Amuneke’s boys having to rue a surprise miss from Osimhen earlier.
It would not be long before the Young Falcons of Sudan would lose a bird. Walaadihh Musa who had just put his team up would be shown a red for dissent. A tactical substitution from Amuneke would pay off as Orji Okonkwo would leap to nod in a cross in the 67th minute restoring parity in the game and looking to send the team into the 2017 campaign on aggregate.
The last quarter of the game would have a nervy finish as the Flying Eagles looked to hold on and seal their place while the Young Falcons would chase a crucial goal that would see them win by the away goal rule.
The latter would triumph as Halid Abdamuleem would grab his second goal of the game- what would turn out to be the tiebreaker in the 83rd minute ultimately ending Nigeria’s hopes of winning the tournament back-to-back and chasing an 8th U20 AFCON title in the 2017 campaign.