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AFCON U-17: Golden Eaglets suffer shock defeat to Burkina Faso, crash out of tourney

Camara double sends Nigeria out of AFCON, World Cup

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets were sent packing from the AFCON U-17 after a disappointing 2-1 defeat at the hands of Burkina Faso in the quarterfinals of the competition. The Nigerian boys were punished for their profligacy in front of goal as their opponents sealed the final ticket for the U-17 World Cup.

With a place in the FIFA U-17 World Cup on the line, the Golden Eaglets sought to reach a fifth AFCON semifinal in five attempts. They were facing Burkina Faso, a side they defeated in the WAFU B U17 tournament final.

Nigeria started on the front foot, with forward Charles Agada spurning a good chance in the opening exchanges and Abdullahi Abubakar grazing the crossbar with an effort from outside the box. Striker Light Eke also saw an effort blocked as the Golden Eaglets piled on the pressure against their opponents.

With half-time beckoning, Burkina Faso took the lead against the run of play. Appolinaire Bougma easily went past Usman Owoyemi and Emmanuel Michael on the right wing before curling an effort goalwards. Nigeria goalkeeper Richard Odoh parried the ball, only for central defender Tochukwu Ogboji to miss his kick, allowing Aboubacar Camara to stab home the opener from close range.

Shortly into the second half, the Junior Stallions were gifted a second goal when they were awarded a penalty. Camara stepped up and fired home from the spot in the 55th minute to double his side’s lead in the game.

A raft of substitutions from coach Nduka Ugbade saw the Golden Eaglets seize the initiative again, and they were rewarded in the 68th minute. A cross from the impressive Michael was touched on by substitute Favour Daniel, allowing Abdullahi to tap home his second goal of the tournament.

After pulling one back, Nigeria remained on the front foot as they sought an equaliser. Only a brilliant save from Burkinabe goalkeeper Isidore Traore denied a good Daniel header as he pushed the ball onto the crossbar. Some last-ditch defending also prevented the winger from finding the target as the Junior Stallions held on for a good win over the Golden Eaglets.

Burkina Faso exacted revenge on the Golden Eaglets and booked the World Cup ticket, as well. The Junior Stallions will face Senegal for a place in the final of the tournament while Mali and Morocco will lock horns in the other semifinal.

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