U20 WAFU-B: F/Eagles Nwaeze hero to villain in Porto Novo

U20 WAFU-B: F/Eagles Nwaeze hero to villain in Porto Novo

Kwara United centre back Christopher Nwaeze went from being hero to a villain as Nigeria’s Flying Eagles were held to a 1-1 draw by Cote d’Ivoire in their first group game at the WAFU-B U20 tournament in Porto Novo.

Nwaeze’s header to Wisdom Ubani’s delivery appeared to have put Ladan Bosso’s side on course for an opening Group B win, but the Baby Elephants levelled late on through Ousmane Traore.

Both sides created chances in an entertaining first half, with Peter Olawale and Nwaeze coming close for Nigeria. The contest 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 was sent to the showers for a second bookable offence on 71 minutes.

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 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.

The tournament in 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.

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