Posted by News Express | 27 April 2013 | 5,419 times
Those who believe that thunder does not strike twice could not have reckoned with what would happen at the Africa Under-17 Championship concluded minutes ago in Casablanca, Morocco.
It was a soccer championship in which Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets made waves for thrashing their opponents with wide margins (6-1 against Ghana and 7-0 against Congo), only to be conquered twice by the Baby Elephants of Ivory Coast.
The Ivorians first brought Coach Manu Garba’s boys down to earth with a lone goal victory in an April 17 Group B game in Marrakech. Hopes of a vengeance by the Nigerians in the final rose when Omega put the Eaglets ahead in the seventh minute. The Ivorians however cancelled out the advantage before half time.
For Nigeria, the signs became ominous when Omega was controversially sent off in the second half. That notwithstanding, the Eaglets fought bravely to end the end one-all – but only to lose 4-5 in the resultant penalty shootouts.
Despite the result, Nigeria join Ivory Coast in qualifying for the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in October and November – with semi-finalists Morocco and Tunisia completing the continent’s slots.
• Photo courtesy goal.com shows action from the Nigeria vs Ivory Coast group game.
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