Nigeria finished outside the medals’ zone after losing 1-2 Angola in the third place match of the 13th Africa U17 Cup of Nations in Tanzania on Saturday. The Golden Eaglets however kept their ticket to the FIFA U17 World Cup in Brazil.
The technical crew of the five –time world champions must be quite worried how the Eaglets’ scorecard showed a steady decline in the tournament. First they narrowly edged a nine-goal thriller (against Tanzania); won by a goal from the spot (against Angola); came from behind to draw (against Uganda); lost on penalty shoot-out (against Guinea) and; then lost in regulation time (against Angola).
It is an unflattering output at a continental championship for a country that has won the world title five times, and the team has, sincerely, not done enough to justify the support of the Nigeria Football Federation and the confidence of Nigerian ball fans.
It was always going to end this way for a team that wastes opportunities without blinking, and despite creating another basketful of chances, and playing against a team with one man down for 34 minutes (after Porfirio Abrantes got a second yellow card), the team led by Samson Tijani failed to make hay.
While Olatomi Olaniyan, Tijani and Charles Etim lifted their shots too high each time when they should have scored, championship top scorer Osvaldo Capemba headed past Sunday Stephen into the net in Angola’s first real opportunity. But Wisdom Ubani equalized two minutes later as Nigeria broke forward again.
Yet, they would not make use of another opportunity again throughout the game, rather failing to keep close control and losing the ball carelessly.
Instead, Andre Sebastio Zito rifled into Nigeria’s net as Angola got a rare opportunity three minutes into the second period, and despite showing sense of urgency, the Eaglets just could not come up with the right ideas in the final third.
Cameroon and Guinea will contest Sunday’s final in Dar es Salaam.
Flying Eagles off to Germany for final training camp
Nigeria’s U20 boys, Flying Eagles, will fly into Germany on Sunday morning for a final training camp ahead of this year’s FIFA U20 World Cup finals in Poland. The wards of Paul Aigbogun will spend three weeks in Germany perfecting tactical and technical strategies before flying into Poland for the championship billed for 23rd May – 15th June.
Team Administrator, Aliyu Ibrahim Lawal disclosed to thenff.com that 23 players were billed to fly out of Abuja aboard a Lufthansa Airline flight on Saturday night, while eight overseas –based professionals would join the team camp in Germany.
Nigeria has been drawn in the same pool alongside Qatar, USA and Ukraine at the 2019 FIFA U20 World Cup finals, after the seven –time African champions finished fourth at the Africa U20 Cup of Nations finals in Niger Republic in February, to pick Africa’s last slot in Poland.
FLYING EAGLES FOR TRAINING CAMP IN GERMANY
Detan Ogundare, Olawale Oremade, Matthew Yakubu, Mike Zaruma, Rabiu Mohammad, Solomon Onome, Ikouwem Utin, Quadri Liameed, Adewale Oladoye, Peter Eletu, Ernest Chidiebere, Victor Arikpo, Effiom Maxwell, Abubakar Ibrahim, Adeshina Gata, Aniekeme Okon, Sor Collins, Ahmad Ghali, Aliu Salawudeen, Tijani Muhammad, Pascal Durugbor, Saeed Jibril, Valentine Ozornwafor. Overseas-Based: Samuel Chukwueze, Kingsley Michael, Ash Kigbu, Tom Dele-Bashiru, Chinedu Ekene, Henry Offia, Abubakar Jibril, Hamdi Akujobi
Oluehi, Okoronkwo head Dennerby’s invitees for WAFU Cup
Goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi, defender Glory Ogbonna, midfielder Amarachi Okoronkwo and forward Alice Ogebe are among 26 players that Super Falcons’ Head Coach Thomas Dennerby has invited to camp ahead of next month’s WAFU Women’s Cup Tournament in Abidjan, capital of Cote d’Ivoire.
All invited players have been asked to report at the Serob Legacy Hotel, Wuye, Abuja on Sunday, 28th April as training sessions would commence on Monday, 29th April.
Veteran midfielder Osarenoma Igbinovia and forward Chioma Wogu have also been called, as well as former captain Evelyn Nwabuoku.
Goalkeepers Alaba Jonathan, Christy Ohiaeriaku and Chiamaka Nnadozie will contest for the number one position with Oluehi, who maintained her place among the sticks as the Falcons won a ninth African title in Ghana last year, and has kept the position ever since.
Defender Maryam Ibrahim and midfielder Cynthia Aku, as well as former junior internationals Peace Efih, Ugochi Emenayo, Joy Jerry and Joy Bokiri will also get another look-in as Dennerby prepares to compile his final list for the 8th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in France.
The WAFU Women’s Cup Tournament will take place in Abidjan 8th – 18th May 2019, with the Super Falcons to play in Group B alongside Burkina Faso, Niger Republic and Mali. Host nation Cote d’Ivoire will tackle Senegal, Togo and Ghana in Group A.
26 FALCONS INVITED FOR WAFU WOMEN’S CUP
Mary-Magdalene Anjor, Peace Efih, Ugochi Emenayo, Osarenoma Igbinovia, Alaba Jonathan, Glory Ogbonna, Christy Ohiaeriaku, Amarachi Okoronkwo, Tochukwu Oluehi, Chidinma Okeke, Alice Ogebe, Chiamaka Nnadozie, Uchenna Kanu, Joy Jerry, Chioma Wogu, Maryam Ibrahim, Cynthia Aku, Rita Okoro, Adebisi Saheed, Evelyn Nwabuoku, Rofiat Sule, Joy Bokiri, Mary Ologbosere, Esther Sunday, Antionette Payne, Rofiat Imuran