U-20 AFCON: Flying Eagles stroll to bronze medal with convincing win over Tunisia
Bosso's boys end campaign on high note with win over Junior Carthage Eagles
Nigeria’s Flying Eagles ensured that they did not leave the U-20 AFCON empty-handed after they secured third-place following a comfortable 4-0 win over Tunisia in the bronze medal match. The Nigerians secured a third third-place finish in the history of the age-grade competition.
After a disappointing defeat to the Young Scorpions of Gambia in the semifinals, the Flying Eagles were keen to bounce back against Tunisia’s Junior Carthage Eagles, a side that had been convincingly beaten by Senegal in the other semifinal.
The Nigerian boys made a fast start to the game and opened the scoring after only nine minutes through impressive FC Cartagena winger Ibrahim Muhammad Beji. The youngster was on the end of a terrific low cross from captain Daniel Bameyi after brilliant approach play in the final third, scoring his second goal of the tournament.
Usually reliable goalkeeper Chijioke Aniagboso had a nervy couple of moments towards the end of the first half as he flapped at two consecutive crosses, but he had some heroic goal line defending from his teammates to thank for keeping his team ahead. The Tunisians were denied an equaliser by an offside flag in the same sequence of play.
The Flying Eagles doubled their advantage just ten seconds into the second half through much-maligned KAA Gent striker Ahmed Abdullahi. The teenager received a pass from Muhammad Beji straight from kick-off and dribbled past one defender before slotting his effort past the goalkeeper.
Two minutes later, the Flying Eagles added a third in spectacular fashion. Receiving the ball just inside the Tunisian half, forward Jude Sunday motored past five Tunisian players before drilling an effort past the goalkeeper with his left foot.
The Nigerian team rounded off the scoring with a brilliant team goal in the 90th minute involving brilliant passing and movement. Midfielder Onuche Ogbelu played a pass to right-back Bameyi, who found winger Rilwan Haliru Sarki in the right half-space. The winger played a pass centrally to Samson Lawal, who played a quick one-two with Nicholas Jonathan before releasing the ball to Sunday on the left wing. Using the overlapping run of left-back Solomon Agbalaka as a decoy, Sunday stepped inside before unleashing a powerful effort that beat the Tunisian goalkeeper at his near post.
The Flying Eagles claimed a comprehensive win over Tunisia to end their campaign on a positive note. The team will reconvene in May as they head to the World Cup in Indonesia.