The Golden Eaglet yesterday failed to defeat Ghana’s Black Starlets in their second match of the West African Football Union U-17 WAFU B Tournament holding in Lome, Togo. The match, which was played at the Lome’s Stade Municipal, ended in 1-1.
The match, which was dubbed a crucial encounter for the five-time World Champions, because they needed a win to be in contention for qualification into the next round of the cadet championship, was a disappointment, as both countries got their goals via penalties.
In the boring duel, the Golden Eaglets’ substitute, Joseph Arumala, had converted a penalty kick in the 75th to put Nigeria ahead. Shortly after, the Ghanaian Starlets were also awarded a penalty kick, which they converted.
Eaglets’ goalkeeper, Destiny Emuwahem, couldn’t prevent the Ghanaians from scoring the equaliser from the resultant spot-kick to bring the scores level.
The result now leaves the Coach Fatai Amoo-led Eaglets with just a point from two matches and on the verge of being thrown out of the competition, the same way the nation’s U-20 failed to make it to the competition that will decide Africa’s representatives to the World Cup.
The Black Starlets of Ghana now need only a draw against the Eaglets’ conquerors, the Young Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire to seal qualification to the next round of the competition and that will mean an end to Nigeria’s hope of making it to the global competition they won last in 2017.
Before the game, the Eaglets had vowed to get the three available points in yesterday’s duel to avoid elimination despite the Nigeria Football Federation President, Amaju Pinnick’s visit to the team’s camp, where he charged the boys to show robust winning mentality against the Ghanaians.