June 25, (THEWILL) – At the final of the West African Football Union (WAFU) Zone B Under-17 Cup in Ghana, Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets overcame Burkina Faso 2-1, to continue the country’s dominance in youth competitions.
In the first half, the Nigerians dominated the Burkinabes as they applied early pressure allowing forward Abubakar Idris Abdullahi to give the Eaglets a well-earned lead in the 22nd minute. However, the lead lasted only 10 minutes as Abdulramane Ouedraogo’s equaliser got the Burkinabes back into the game, putting pressure on the Eaglets.
The pressure was evened out after the interval as both sides played with more purpose, gunning for for glory as the minutes went by. The Nigerians maintained dominance in strategic parts of the field but had to staunchly defend for lengthy stretches, with Burkina Faso pressing harder than they did in the first period.
The Nigerians took the lead in the second half thanks to a second goal from Abdullahi off of an inch-perfect pass from Emmanuel Michael after a free-kick was not properly handled by the opponent’s keeper. Burkina Faso made every effort to tie the score and consistently posed serious threats, especially from the wings. But, they found no leeway through a tough Eaglets backline.
The two finalists will represent West Africa Zone B at the African U-17 tournament in Algeria next year. It brings another successful Nigerian showing to an end as the Eaglets join their triumphant U-20 team, the Flying Eagles, who won the U-20 competition in Niger Republic last month. They were congratulated by the Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, and he intends to host then when they return.