Nigeria’s U-17 national team, the Golden Eaglets, defeated hosts Ghana 4-2 in their U-17 WAFU Cup opener at the Cape Coast Stadium in Ghana.
Weeks after the U-20 national team claimed the U-20 WAFU Cup in Niger, their U-17 counterparts, the Golden Eaglets, began their own campaign in a bid to qualify for the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations.
Led by experienced coach Nduka Ugbade and young manager Yemi Olanrewaju, the Nigerian boys were up against the hosts in their opening match.
Left-back Emmanuel Michael put the Golden Eaglets ahead after only 12 minutes of action with an exquisite free-kick from about 25 yards out. The teenager found the top corner of the Ghanaian goal to give his team an early lead.
The Nigerian boys doubled their advantage through Precious Williams on the stroke of half-time after a gaffe from the Ghanaian goalkeeper, who spilled a long-range shot into Williams’ path, leaving him with a tap-in.
Two goals became three shortly after the commencement of the second half as Jubril Azeez reacted smartly to take advantage of lax defending by the Ghanaians and tuck home an effort from a tight angle in the 53rd minute.
Ghana pulled one back five minutes later through substitute Abdul Razak Salifu to give them hope for a comeback against their opponents.
The Golden Eaglets quashed any threat of a comeback from the Ghanaians by adding a fourth through substitute Light Eke, who finished off a pass by Yahaya Lawal in the 78th minute of the encounter.
The Black Starlets of Ghana pulled one back from the penalty spot in the 90th minute through captain Collins Agyemang after Pius Adua was brought down in the box.
Left-back Emmanuel Michael was named the Man of the Match after an impressive performance. The Golden Eaglets will face Togo in their final group match at the U-17 WAFU Cup as they look to progress to the knockout rounds of the competition.