Golden Eaglets of Nigeria slump by a default lone goal to Morocco in U17 match.


Golden Eaglets of Nigeria slump by a default lone goal to Morocco in U17 match.

Two times African Champions, Golden Eaglets of Nigeria on Wednesday slumped to less fancied Junior Atlas Lions of Morocco by a lone goal default in a Group B match played at Hammid Hamlaou Stadium in Constantine.

Nigeria’s Central Defender, T. J. Ogboji in an attempt to shield an aerial cross headed the ball into his own net at the 2nd minute which happens to be the fastest goal so far of the tournament.

Nigeria had a brilliant dominating first half trying to get goals but there were too many disconnects in passes between both defence and midfield with the Attackers as the long passes used were well read by the Moroccans who came with defensive football of at least seven men behind the ball each time frustrating the several forays of the Nigerians.

Both sides were meeting for the first time and the Moroccans admitted that the Nigerians were fast and physical swearing to beat Nigeria with modern football tactics. The Nduka Ugbade boys kept piling pressure to at least get an equalizer but Referee Ousmane Diakete of Mali blew them offside 8 times against Morocco’s 2 times.


The god of Soccer refused to smile on Nigeria that had 27 shots at goal with 4 of them on target as against Morocco’s 3 shot and only one on target as the North Africans played mostly in their half perhaps waiting for penalty shootouts. Their best result in this category was a 4th place gotten when they hosted in 2013 in the highest penalty shootouts ever in the finals. After 1-1 draw with Tunisia lost 11-10 on penalties. Nigeria won Silver that year losing to Ivory Coast 5-4 on penalties after 1-1 at full time. On the Second coming of Morocco at Tanzania in 2019 they lost at group stage placing 7th.

On Tuesday night, Nigeria outclassed Morocco in every department of the game but the goals refused to come. So many shouts came from Nigerians in the neighborhood. Nigeria dominated possessions with 64-36% rate; stringed more passes 406 with 72% accuracy to 242 with 56% and had 5-0 corner kicks as the Moroccans defended even with their teeth to stop balls entering their net. Yellow cards were 1-1. Nigerian Captain was for the second match running picked as Man of the Match.

Nigeria won in 2001 in Seychelles defeating Burkina Faso 3-1; won again by beating hosts Togo 1-0 AET; won Silver in 1995 in Mali losing to Ethiopia 3-1; won Silver again in 2013 losing to Ivory Coast 5-4 on penalties after 1-1 at full time in Morocco; won Bronze in 2003 defeating Egypt 3-1 in Swaziland; placed 4th in the last two tournaments losing to Guinea 1-3 in Niger Republic in 2015 and lost 1-2 to Angola in Tanzania.

Nigeria is four times champion of World U17 trophy.

However by virtue of this 1-0 victory, Morocco is sure of a Quarterfinal ticket with 6 points having won the first match on 30th April defeating South Africa 2-0. Nigeria is second for now with 3 points and one goal advantage having defeated Zambia by a lone goal last Sunday. South Africa is meeting Zambia in the second group match at 2000 hours.

On Saturday, Nigeria will test strength against South Africa while Zambia will face Morocco both matches will be played simultaneously at 2000 hours.

Only one match will be played at 1700 hours tomorrow Thursday in group C between Cameroon and Mali as South Sudan who were scheduled to meet Burkina Faso were disqualified at the last moment.
Eniola Olatunji reporting for Patmos Media Line.

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