Posted by Amechi Obiakpu & Rukevwe Onoharigho | 21 September 2013 | 4,341 times
It’s never easy to dethrone a champion, and hosts Nigeria found that out this afternoon, falling to defending champions Republic of Niger in the male category of the on-going second edition of the Airtel Rising Stars Africa U-17 soccer tournament holding in Lagos.
The Nigeriens showed they meant business, taking the lead through Adebao Adje in the 10th minute of a thrilling semi-final just concluded at the Agege Stadium. Nigeria leveled scores through John Mikano in the 23rd minute and efforts by both sides to increase the tally proved abortive.
In the ensuing penalty shootouts, Niger found the net seven times while Nigeria did so only six times. It was a day of double loss for the hosts as they also lost 2-3 to Kenya in the semi-final of the female category decided this morning at the same venue.
The championship kicked off Monday at the Agege Township Stadium and ends at the same venue tomorrow.
The Airtel Rising Stars Africa U-17 soccer tournament is a unique pan-African initiative of Airtel Africa designed to create a pool of talents to feed the national football teams of African countries.
•Photo by Rukevwe Onoharigho shows midfield action from an earlier match at the Agege Stadium.
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