Under-20 AFCON: Flying Eagles beat Niger, book semifinals, World Cup ticket

Nigeria National Under 20 team , the Flying Eagles on Friday pipped tournament hosts Niger Republic 1 – 0 in their last Group A match at the ongoing 2019 Under 20 Africa Cup of Nations ( AFCON) in Niamey.
The result meant the Flying Eagles qualified for the semi – finals of the tournament and also secured a spot at the 2019 FIFA U – 20 World Cup in Poland.

The match played at the Stade Général Seyni Kountché in Niamey, saw Paul Aigbogun ’ s boys post another lacklustre performance despite defeating the Junior Mena in the crucial last group match .

Adamu Alhassan scored the only goal of the encounter.

The Flying Eagles missed an opportunity to score an early goal when Nafizi Yahaya missed their only clear – cut chance of the first half in the fourth minute .

In the second half , the seven – time winners of the competition continued their unimpressive display until the 51 st minute when Mohammed Jamil ’ s header forced a brilliant save from the Nigerien goalkeeper.

The Flying Eagles , however , broke the deadlock in the 73 rd minute through Alhassan ’ s free – kick which beat the Niger goalkeeper to hand Aigbogun ’ s side their second win in the competition .

Nigeria finished top of Group A with seven points , while South Africa who beat Burundi 1 – 0 in the other matchday three encounter are second with five points .

They also advanced to the semi – finals and booked a spot at the 2019 FIFA Under 20 World Cup.

Niger Republic and Burundi both crashed out of the competition after the hosts finished third with two points , while Burundi finished at the bottom of log with one point .

The Flying Eagles will now face the runners up in Group B in the semifinals on Feb . 13 , while the Amajitas of South Africa clash with Group B winners Senegal .

Ghana and Mali occupy second and third spots in Group B and are both in contention for a second place finish having been tied on the same points .

The 2019 Africa Under – 20 Cup of Nations which is in its 15 th edition kicked off on Feb . 2 and is expected to end on Feb . 17 .

( NAN)

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