Nigeria’s national Under 17 team; the Golden Eaglets on Saturday defeated bitter rivals Ghana 3-1 on penalties in the final of the 2018 WAFU B tournament held in Niamey, Niger Republic; consequently qualifying for next year’s Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations.
After a goalless first half, Ghana drew the first blood when striker Taufiq Shaibu gave the Black Starlets a deserved 54th minute lead. The Nigerians however fought back and levelled scores few minutes later through Shooting Stars starlet Akinkunmi Amoo, his third goal of the tournament.
Both teams remained inseparable as Nigeria failed to find a winner despite enjoying much of the possession after their equalising goal.
The game went directly into penalties after the ninety minutes regulation time and Nigeria went into the ascendancy when David Ishaya and captain Samson Tijani converted Nigeria’s first two kicks with the Ghanaians converting one of theirs through Ebenezer Adade.
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Nigeria’s goalscorer Amoo then missed his own kick (Nigeria’s third) but his goalkeeper John Amah spared his blushes by saving Ghana’s Sampson Agyapong’s effort to preserve Nigeria’s lead. Left back Muhammad Ibrahim then converted to strengthen Nigeria’s lead before substitute Abdul Fatawu Issaaku missed Ghana’s fourth kick to give Nigeria the win in this inaugural tournament.
Congratulations to Nigeria's Golden Eaglets for beating Ghana 3-1 on penalties to win the inaugural UFOA B tournament in Niger.
Off to Tanzania next May for the African championship.
Such a crazy qualification format by @CAF_Online. pic.twitter.com/gHPzDbx7sM
— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) September 15, 2018
The Golden Eaglets, led by Manu Garba and assisted by 1985 World Under-16 Championship winner Nduka Ugbade have now picked the sole ticket to represent West African Zone B at the 2019 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations to be hosted by Tanzania.
Nigeria captain Samson Tijani was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player while ABS attacker Olakunle Olusegun won the tournament’s Golden boot award.
The lads will be rewarded with a sum of two million nairas promised them by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical Committee Chairman, Ahmed Yusuf Fresh while also expecting to be sent on a tour of either Qatar or Jordan before the continental tournament scheduled to hold between 12th and 26th of May next year.