Nigeria national U17 team, the Golden Eaglets on Tuesday came from a goal down to beat ten-man Cote d’Ivoire and qualify for the final of the WAFU UFOA B U17 Championship in Ghana.
Qualification for the final also automatically earns Nigeria a spot at next year’s U17 Africa Cup of Nations to be hosted by Algeria, but the feat did not come without an early setback.
Yan Diomande gave the Ivorians the lead from the penalty spot with just two minutes on the clock. The opening thirty minutes was quite difficult for the Nigerian starlets until left back Emmanuel Michael popped up with a free kick goal from an impossible angle.
Not done, Michael then turned the scores around with another sublime free kick in the 43rd minute to give Nduka Ugbade’s boys the lead going into the half time break.
WATCH: Emmanuel Michael giving Nigeria's Golden Eaglets the lead against Coted'voire with this brilliant free kick.— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) June 21, 2022
What thrills me about his expertise is that his three FK goals have come from different regions on the pitch. A real threat.#wafu17zoneb pic.twitter.com/DWrkgJh01D
Nigeria continued to dominate in the second half at a slippery Cape Coast Stadium pitch and got an insurance goal on the hour mark when Abdullahi Idris headed home Yayaha Lawali’s free kick for 3-1.
The Ivorians were then reduced to ten men when Makhete N’diaye was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Both sides still had more chances to score in the final fifteen minutes but the opportunities were frittered away as the clock ticked away.
Nigeria will face the winner of the second semi final game between Ghana and Burkina Faso in Friday’s final of the regional competition with the second finalist also booking a place at the U23 AFCON along with Nigeria.