South Africa national Under 20 team this evening prevented their Nigeria counterparts, the Flying Eagles, from booking immediate ticket to 2019 FIFA World Youth Championship to be hosted in Poland.
The South Africans who played 1-1 draw against the host team, Niger Republic on their opening match of the ongoing Africa Youth Championship, AYC put up a dogged effort to stymie the Paul Aigbogun-led Nigeria side as both teams battled to a barren draw in their second Group A match.
The flying Eagles had came to the match on the wake of their 2-0 win against Burundi in their opener on Saturday and were bookmakers favorite to book their ticket to Poland with a game to spare in the Group A of the AYC.
But despite having the lion share of possession in the match, the Flying Eagles managed just one single shot on target in the first half and found chances difficult to come by in the second half.
The South Africans defending stoically to put oh hold the seven-time African champions’ qualification to Friday when they will take on the host nation, Niger in the final Group A match.
Nigeria coach Paul Aigbogun made just one change in the match as Enyimba FC winger and goal scorer against Burundi, Maxwell Effiom, was dropped from the starting eleven
Effiom, who scored Nigeria’s second goal against Burundi at the weekend, was replaced by Ibrahim Aliyu. Despite seeing an improved performance from the lads, they were unable to find a loophole in the South Africa defence.
As it stands in the group, Nigeria is currently topping the table with 4 points and plus two goals while South Africa is second with two points.
However, there could be changes on the log as host nation, Niger currently leads Burundi by alone goal in the second match of the Group A.
The four semi-finalists in the championship will book their ticket for Poland 2019 FIFA world Youth Championship. Nigeria missed out in both the AYC and the FIFA championship in 2017 after the team then coached by Emmanuel Amunike failed to secure qualification for the AYC.
Flying Eagles last group match against Niger on Friday will kickoff by 4:30pm Nigerian time.