Nigeria’s Flying Eagles Fail to Qualify for U-20 AFCON
Nigeria’s Flying Eagles have failed to qualify for the 2017 U-20 AFCON after going down 4-3 to Sudan at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on Saturday.
The home defeat left the clash tied on 5-5 aggregate following the Flying Eagles’ 2-1 first-leg victory in Omdurman, but the away goals rule means the seven-time champions won’t be represented at the U-20 AFCON event event billed for Zambia. The U-20 AFCON also serves as the U-20 World Cup qualifier.
The Emmanuel Amunike-led side started brilliantly in front of a passionate crowd in Lagos, with former U17 star Samuel Chukwueze firing his side ahead in the 17th minute after a brilliant solo run. But the visitors drew level four minutes later through Amghd Ahmad.
Nigeria soon restored their one-goal cushion in the 26th minute when Femi Bamgboye followed up a cross from Chukwueze to tap into an empty goal, only for Halid Abdamuleem to equalise for Sudan just before the break.
Amunike threw on Orji Okonkwo at the start of the second-half, but it was Sudan’s Young Falcons who got the next goal as Walaadih Musi stunned the home crowd on the 56th minute.
Substitute Okonkwo nodded Nigeria level minutes after Sudan’s goalscorer Musa was sent off, but Abdamuleem got his second and the all-important winner on the 83rd minute as the Sudanese pulled off a shock win to send Nigeria packing.
The defeat comes as double blow for the country as the senior national team, the Super Eagles will also be absent at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations slated for Gabon.
Nigerians have been reacting to the latest setback on Twitter…
#CAFAFCONU20Q it is very evident that Nigeria is sick and the sports sector is not spared. Nigeria U20 beaten by Sudan 4:3
— Sunter (@babajayx1) July 23, 2016
What?! Sudan just beat Nigeria 4-3 in Nigeria to qualify for the U20 African Cup! Nigeria has won the competition 7 times
— Walid Bylka (@bylka613) July 23, 2016
Nigeria missing in action at U20 eliminated by Sudan indeed football dynamics have changed in Africa
— Collins Okinyo (@bedjosessien) July 23, 2016
Almost unthinkable to not have Ghana or Nigeria u20s at the 2017 CAF Finals (and by that also not at the 2017 u20 World Cup)
— Rob Delport (@FMSouthAfrica) July 23, 2016
Wonderful! Flying Eagles crash out of U20 qualification for AYC scheduled for Zambia. Nigeria will be missing alongside Ghana. Sad.
— kelvin Amata (@KelvinAmata) July 23, 2016
@howardjej Keshi failed with one of Nigeria’s most talented group of U20’s he still coached the Eagles and won the AFCON remember?
— EDAFE MATTHEW ESEOGH (@ELEGBETE1) July 23, 2016
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