- Qualify for U17 AFCON
Nigeria Golden Eaglets on Tuesday broke the tusks of the Baby Elephants of Côte d’Ivoire through a 3-1 bashing in the semi-final of the WAFU B U17 tourney in Cape Coast Stadium, Ghana.
The victory also resulted in the Nigeria U17 football team, picking one of the two tickets to the 2023 CAF U17 African Nations Cup (AFCON) in Algeria. In the early kickoff, Côte d’Ivoire’s Yan Diamande got a penalty decision which he quickly converted to put the Young Elephants on the lead.
The goal did not deter the Golden Eaglets because have been charged earlier by head coach Nduka Ugbade to go all out against the Ivorians to secure the qualifying ticket to the continental tourney in Algeria. In response to the Ivorians’ goal, Emmanuel Michael, adjudged as the best freekick taker in the tournament, scored a brace from two free-kicks to reverberate the team’s spirit to prep a comeback win.
To worsen the plight of the Young Elephants, who were trying to fix back one of their broken tusks by Golden Eaglets’ 2-1 lead, unfortunately got both totally ripped off by Abdullahi Idris’ header to hand Nigeria their third goal. For the second time in less than one month, Nigeria underscored its stature in youth football on the African continent as five-time world champions Golden Eaglets reached the finals of the 2023 Africa U17 Cup of Nations in style.
In Friday’s final, the Eaglets will take on the winner of the second semi-final between hosts Ghana and Burkina Faso. However, victory over the Ivorians means they will be one of the eight participating teams at next year’s Africa U17 Cup of Nations in Algeria. Defender and deadball prodigy Emmanuel Michael was presented with the Manof-the-Match award, for the third consecutive match.