Again, Nigerian scores against Nigeria in Lagos
Osimhen’s Own Goal Sinks Flying Eagles, Fans Want NFF Board To Go
As it happened in 1978 in Lagos during a crucial World Cup qualifier against Tunisia, when the Green Eagles defender, Godwin Odiye, scored an own goal to deny Nigeria qualification for the Mundial hosted by Argentina, Flying Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen, accounted for the nation’s ouster from the 2017 African U-20 Nations Cup yesterday.
After the Super Eagles failed to qualify for the Gabon 2017 African Nations Cup, yesterday’s home defeat of the Flying Eagles to a 10-man Young Falcons of Sudan was another major dent on Nigeria’s football.
The Coach Emmanuel Amuneke-led Flying Eagles won the first leg 2-1 in Sudan and needed a draw to seal passage to Zambia 2017. But it was not to be.
In the first leg in Khartoum Sudan two weeks ago, Osimhen was a hero. His goal and another by Samuel Chukwueze saw the Flying Eagles come from behind to defeat their hosts 2-1.
But yesterday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, scores was 3-3 before Osimhen’s own goal in the second half gifted the 10-man Sudanese side a 4-3 win and took their opponents to Zambia 2017 on a 5-5 aggregate.
For many years, Lagosians have been starved the opportunity of watching the national teams. The decision to stage the game in Lagos turned out to be a bad one for the Pinnick Amaju-led Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Flying Eagles yesterday.
Samuel Chukwueze struck first for the Flying Eagles in the 13th minutes, but the Sudanese equalized in the 20th minute through Amjad Ismaila.
Funsho Bamgboye restored Nigeria’s lead some minutes later, but the Sudanese replied almost immediately through Khalid Abddelmoneim just before the half time break.
On resumption, the Sudanese went ahead before Orji Okonkwo drew level 3-3 for Nigeria in the 67th minutes. To prevent the visitors from scoring more goals, Osimhen decided to join the defence, but it turned out to be a costly mistake.
At the end of the game, some of the fans at the stadium demanded the resignation of the NFF board, saying they have overseen the worst performance of the national team in recent years.
However, the NFF first Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi, said the federation would go back and look at where things went wrong for the Flying Eagles, just as he described the defeat as painful. Coach Amuneke was speechless for hours after the defeat.