Posted by News Express | 12 March 2015 | 3,319 times
Nigeria will hoist their flag at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand next summer, as they defeated Congo 4-1 in an African Youth Championship Group A match in Dakar, Senegal, Wednesday.
Having recorded a 3-1 victory over hosts Senegal on Sunday, Nigeria easily dismissed the Congolese despite going one man down barely 27 minutes into play.
The job was well executed as Captain Musa Mohammed hit two from the penalty spots in a resounding success.
The determination in the team also finished things off in the second group match in Dakar.
Nigeria coach Manu Garba deployed a 4-3-3 formation against the Congolese team.
Joshua Enaholo started in goal, with Zaharadeen Bello and Izuchukwu Omego as the preferred centre-back pair, while Mohammed and Mustapha Abdullahi operated as right and left-backs respectively
Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, Idowu Akinjide and Ifeanyi Matthew all protected the Flying Eagles defence in a three-man pivot.
Taiwo Awoniyi led the line for Nigeria and was ably supported by Chidera Ezeh and Bernard Bulbwa.
Determined not to allow a repeat of the 2007 loss to the Small Leopards, the Flying Eagles attacked from the blast of the whistle and were soon in front after five minutes.
A wonderful work from Bulbwa was slotted in by the lurking Matthew. It was the perfect start the Garba tutored lads needed to start the much talked about match.
Three minutes later, Captain Mohammed almost doubled the lead for the Nigerian side. His close range effort was saved by goalkeeper Pavelh Ndzila.
Flying Eagles were down to ten men when goalkeeper Enaholo was sent off. It was a huge setback for the tournament favourites.
Talented goalkeeper, Olorunleke Ojo was handed his AYC debut, with Ezeh the sacrificial lamb.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, the six-time AYC winners continued to run rings round their opponents.
Eight minutes before the break, Nigerians at the match venue were celebrating another goal when Mohammed easily dispatched a spot kick for his side.
The first half of the mouth-watering encounter ended two-nil in favour of the Flying Eagles and the fans couldn’t wait for another exciting second stanza at the Stade Leopold Senghor.
Ten minutes after the game resumed, it was Awoniyi who was first to react when the ball found its way into the box. He was brought down for a penalty to Nigeria.
Mohammed was there to emphatically smash the ball home. He demonstrated his supreme confidence for 3-0 and his second goal of the day.
Eight minutes later and it was 3-1, this time Ganvoula Mboussy beat Olorunleke with his effort.
Three minutes from time, the workaholic Awoniyi demonstrated his goal poaching instincts with a typical ‘’number nine goal’’.
At the end of the match, the Flying Eagles would have known the job was still halfway and that their place in New Zealand was secured, but the AYC title is yet to be in the bag.
•Adapted from Newswatch Times. Photo shows Flying Eagles Coach, Manu Garba.
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