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U-17 AFCON: Three Observations from Nigeria`s 3-2 win over South Africa

Nigeria`s Golden Eaglets battled to a 3-2 win over South Africa in their last group B match of the 2023 U-17 AFCON. SPORTSRATION presents two observations from the game.


Nigeria created loads of goal-scoring chances and deserved to win by a wider margin but were let down by poor finishing on numerous occasions.

A 2-1 first half score in favour of South Africa was not a true reflection of Nigeria`s performance. Chance after chance passed by and the Eaglets found themselves trailing at the Stade Mohamed Hamaloui in Constantine on Saturday evening.

An improved second half performance in front of goal saw Nigeria score twice to secure a 3-2 win and bag automatic qualification to the quater-final as second place in group B. Morocco finished top on goal difference. If Nigeria had scored more goals, then top spot would have been theirs.

If they must soar in the knock-out round, Nigeria must be more clinical in front of goal or risk days like the game vs Morocco.

Ugbade must work on this or else…


Like we observed in the 1-0 win over Zambia in match one, the Flying Eagles defenders were scared of making tackles and so the opposition strolled into the penalty area to test goalkeeper Richard Odoh.

It is obvious the system of marking is made from the training ground but as seen in South Africa`s second goal, the defenders must make clean tackles and not escort opponents into the vital area waiting for opportunities to steal the ball.

In the knock-out round, this will be key as opposition attackers will look to exploit this weak link.


Clearly the youngest Nigeria U-17 team, this Eaglets are very talented.

In all three group stage matches, Nigeria dominated play with the talented bunch complementing each other to seal progression to the next round.

In few years time, this boys will rule the World just like 2015 U-17 set Golden boy Victor Osimhen who led Napoli to a first Scudetto in 33 years on Thursday night .

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