U-23 Eagles Conquer Africa As NFF Commends Siasia, Players
SENEGAL proved to be a good hunting ground for Nigeria, as the country yesterday won the U-23 Cup of Nations in that country.
The country’s representative defeated their Algerian counterpart 2-1 to win the title in a highly contested match played at the 60,000 capacity stadium in Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor, Senegal.
Earlier in the year, the Nigerian Flying Eagles had won the U-20 trophy in Senegal, beating the host in a keenly contested final match.
The hero of yesterday’s match was goalkeeper, Emmanuel Daniel.
Earlier, South Africa beat the host, Senegal, 3-1 on penalty to win the third slot and qualified to feature in the football event at the Olympics after playing goalless in regulation time.
Victor Osimhen, who was a rare start for the Nigerian side, had a shot at the goal, when the Algerian goalkeeper caught his left-foot shot in the early minutes of the match.
Nigeria got its first goal in the 14th minute of the match, when the tournament’s highest goal scorer, Oghenekaro Etebo, was brought down on his way to scoring. Etebo coolly displaced the Algerian goalkeeper, thus, putting the Eagles ahead.
The Algerians, however, equalised in the 30th minute, when Segun Oduduwa headed the ball into his own net after a threatening cross from Ferhat.
With the U-23 Eagles intensifying their attack in the Algerians half, the pressure later yielded result when Etebo again rushed through the Algerian defence before firing past the surging Algerian goalie for Nigeria’s second goal in the 41st minute.
The second half witnessed more rigorous onslaught at the two teams could not find the net. The Algerians had the opportunity to level up after a penalty was awarded to the team. Nigerian hero, Daniel, was called to duty and parried the ball, saving Nigeria from any embarrassment.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday commended the U-23 Eagles team coach, Samson Siasia, and the players for making the country proud in yesterday’s feat.