WAFU B U-17 Championship: Nigeria's Golden Eaglets beat Burkina Faso to emerge champions – Premium Times

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets: WAFU B U-17 Champions
The Nigeria U-17 team emerged as the champions of the regional WAFU B U-17 tournament on Friday evening in Cape Coast after beating their counterparts from Burkina Faso 2-1 in the final match.
Abubakar Abdullahi scored a brace to ensure the Eaglets replicated the feat achieved by the country’s U-20 team, the Flying Eagles, about a month ago when they conquered the region during the qualifiers in Niamey, Niger Republic.
Having both finished as the top teams in their respective groups, the Nigeria- Burkina Faso final was a perfect match to determine who was the overall best.
Interestingly, it was the Young Etalons that dominated the early proceedings and almost took an early lead in the fifth minute but were denied by smart goalkeeping by the Golden Eaglets’ number one Richard Odoh.
However, as the Eaglets settled into the game, they began to weave out chances of their own and they didn’t have to wait for too long when Abubakar headed in a good cross from Emmanuel Micheal in the 22nd minute.
While it seemed the Eaglets will keep the slim advantage until halftime, poor defending by Coach Nduka Ugbade’s boys allowed Burkina Faso to pull level in the 42nd minute from a goalmouth melee.
Keen to right their wrong, the Eaglets started the second half like a house on fire. They got an early opening when they were awarded a free-kick and deadball specialist Emmanuel Micheal was on hand to take it.
Though the Burkina Faso goalkeeper denied Micheal another goal, he spilt the ball into the path of Abubakar who was well placed to restore the Golden Eaglets’ lead in the 48th minute.
Abubakar could have completed his hat trick six minutes afterwards but he fluffed a glorious chance that came his way.
It turned out to be the early second-half goal was the winning strike that ensured the Eaglets emerge as the champions.
Regardless of the outcome of Friday night’s final match, Nigeria and Burkina Faso are already qualified for the Africa U17 Championship which Algeria will host next year.
It is from the tournament in Algeria that Africa’s flag bearers to next year’s FIFA U17 World Cup in Peru will emerge.
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Tunde Eludini is a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria where he studied International Relations. He is a Senior Correspondent coordinating the sports section for PREMIUM TIMES. Twitter@tundeyeludini
All content is Copyrighted © 2022 The Premium Times, Nigeria
All content is Copyrighted © 2022 The Premium Times, Nigeria


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