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Eaglets Crash Out Of AFCON U-17 , Miss World Cup



Eaglets Crash Out Of AFCON U-17 , Miss World Cup

Golden Eaglets’ hopes of qualifying for the 2023 U-17 World Cup and winning the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 16 years were dashed following a 2-1 quarter-final defeat to fellow West Africans Burkina Faso on Thursday.

Forward Aboubacar Camara scored a brace to help the Burkinabe to a 2-0 lead at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers.

But Eaglets forward Abubakar Abdullahi reduced the deficit midway through the second half but it was not enough as the Baby Stallions sealed a hard-fought win to reach the last four of the U-17 AFCON in Algeria, as well as seal a World Cup ticket.

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Eaglets coach Nduka Ugbade did not make any changes to the team that defeated South Africa 3-2 in their last group game and they made a fine start to the game but struggled to break Burkina Faso’s defence.

Charles Agada had the first chance of the game just two minutes after the buzzer, but the teenager saw his close-range shot saved by goalkeeper Abdoulaye Traore.

Six minutes later, Abdullahi thought he had given the Eaglets the lead, only for his spectacular effort from outside the box ricocheted off the crossbar, before it was eventually cleared by the Baby Stallions’ defence.

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Nigeria continued their dominance and were almost rewarded, but again the woodwork came to the rescue of the Burkinabe, this time Agada striking the upright 15 minutes into the game.

Brahima Traore’s side then had their first chance of the game in the 39th minute, but the Eaglets cleared their lines to keep the score level.

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However, despite the Eaglets dominance in the first half, Burkina Faso took the lead with just a minute left before the break.

Defender Tochukwu Ogboji tried to clear the ball but failed to connect well, giving Aboubacar Camara a chance to pounce on the loose ball and give their opponents the lead heading into half-time.

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The second half was similar to the first 45 minutes as the Eaglets continued to dominate but couldn’t convert their chances.

Despite Ugbade’s side having 60 per cent of the possession, the Stallions looked more dangerous and they doubled their lead 12 minutes after the restart from the spot after the referee awarded a penalty for a clumsy challenge inside the Nigerian box.

Camara stepped up to cool convert from the spot to make score 2-0, before Abdullahi pulled one back for the record world champions 10 minutes later, but it was too little too late.

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The Eaglets’ press for an equaliser didn’t yield any results, and substitute Favour Daniel’s looping header should have earned Ugbade’s side a late equaliser but the impressive Traore tipped over the goal-bound effort.

Burkina Faso however held on to claim a famous victory over the Eaglets as they booked their place at the 2023 World Cup.

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They will now face tournament favourites Senegal in the semi-finals of the tournament.

Hammed Tajudeen is a graduate of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree with Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication


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