• Nigeria qualifies for U-20 AFCON quarter-finals

    Nigeria qualifies for u-20 afcon quarter-finals - nigeria newspapers online
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    Nigeria’s Flying Eagles beat Mozambique 2-0 to qualify for the quarterfinals of the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Saturday.

    Thanks to Samson Lawal and Ibrahim Muhammad, the Nigerian Under-20 male team finished second in Group A after scoring two sumptuous goals in the first half.

    Senegal leads the group with nine points after a 4-0 thrashing of hosts Egypt in Cairo, while Nigeria now has six points.

    The Nigerians dominated possession at Ismailia’s Suez Canal Stadium, and their comfortable victory at halftime came as no surprise.

    Muhammad tested the Mozambican goalkeeper with a speculative shot from distance after five minutes to demonstrate the intentions of the Flying Eagles.

    Kimiss Zavala was well positioned to gather the effort as the Young Os Mambas weathered the early Flying Eagles’ pressure.

    They continued to pile pressure on Mozambique with Haliru Sarki and Muhammad providing width to the Nigerian attack.

    The Nigerians created half-chances through Sarki whose half-volley came off a Mozambican defender after 20 minutes.

    Zavala also pulled a smart one-handed save to deny Ayuba Abubakarr from giving the Flying Eagles the lead.

    Also, the lively Muhammad played in Abubakarr who controlled the ball with his back to the goal before firing straight at Zavala who made himself big.

    Nigeria broke the deadlock through Lawal after 32 minutes with a stupendous strike from a distance to beat the helpless Zavala.

    The forward latched on to a quick interchange of passes between full-back Augustine Njoku and Sarki before beating Zavala with a powerful strike.

    The Flying Eagles doubled their lead four minutes before half-time through Muhammad’s sumptuous strike from outside the area.

    Muhammad Aminu cut in from the left to release the Cartagena FC striker who had a touch to set himself up before beating Zavala to make it 2-0.

    The second half was an even contest with Mozambique playing on the break while Nigeria rang changes to give playing time to other members of the squad.

    Substitute Jude Sunday saw his ferocious effort turned over by the busy Zavala 10 minutes into the second half.

    Another Nigerian substitute, Olamilekan Adams, forced a save from Zavala as Ladan Bosso’s charges pushed more men forward.

    The Young Os Mambas’ only real opportunity came late on through substitute Jose Rabelina Zavala’s close-range effort.

    The Flying Eagles join Senegal in the quarter-finals of the competition, while Egypt and Mozambique crash out.


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