WAFU U-17: 10-man Eaglets beat Niger 1-0

The Golden Eaglets defeated Niger 1-0 in a difficult match to earn their first win in the WAFU Zone B U-17 AFCON qualifiers, following their goalless draw with Burkina Faso on Thursday.

Two changes were made to the starting lineup for the match against Burkina Faso by coach Manu Garba: Abdul Muiz Adeleke and Oreoluwa Agbenla received their first starts.

Garba’s adjustments nearly paid off right away as Adeleke had the first opportunity of the game, but the reigning champs were unable to take advantage of it.

The Eaglets wasted another glorious chance four minutes after as no one connected with Rapha Adams’ delightful cross into the dangerous area.

There was however a nervy moment for Nigeria in the 27th minute as Niger created their chance as well to test the Eaglets’ goalkeeper but the effort went over the crossbar.

The nervy moment was a wake-up call for the Eaglets.

Adams scored a powerful header in the 31st minute to hand Nigeria their first win of the tournament.

The striker almost doubled the lead seven minutes later but he dragged his shot wide to keep the score 1-0 heading into the first half.

Nigeria started the second half in the same fashion as the first half, with Adams and Adeleke threatening to score but couldn’t find the back of the net.

Garba’s lads’ job was even made more difficult as they were reduced to 10 men after Okorie Chibuike was shown a red card in the 63rd minute.

Niger came close to scoring from the corner kick in the 73rd minute, but the resulting header couldn’t be directed towards goal.

The victory means the five-time world champions climbed to four points, same as Burkina Faso, ahead of the last Group B games on Wednesday when the Eaglets confront group whipping boys Togo at the Accra Sports Stadium, while Burkina Faso square up to three-pointer Niger Republic at the University of Accra Stadium.

A draw against the Togolese team on Wednesday will guarantee the Eaglets a place in the tournament’s semi-finals.

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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