The Under-17 Golden Eaglets have gotten off to a great start in the Under-17 AFCON 2023 tournament being held in Algeria.
Their first match against the junior Chipolopolo of Zambia ended in a 1 – 0 victory for the team managed by Under-17 legend Nduka Ugbade.
The team had so much promise and they showed that they were the best of the bunch against their Southern African counterparts when both faced off at the Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium in the Algerian city of Constantine.
Ugbade will now be looking forward to the next games against South Africa and Morocco in Group B.
Despite missing a penalty, Golden Eaglets grind out a 1-0 win over Zambia to start U17 AFCON on a winning note. 🔥🇳🇬 pic.twitter.com/GIGmiBy6Tk
— POOJA!!! (@PoojaMedia) April 30, 2023
The match as it happened
The junior Chipolopolo almost took the lead against the Super Eagles hopefuls in the first minute but some brilliant defensive work from Jeremiah Olaleke prevented them from going a goal down that early.
The game turned on its head after that Zambia chance and the Under-17 Nigeria national football team would see a penalty call waved aside by the match officials a few minutes later. In the fifth minute, the Golden Eaglets almost opened their Under-17 AFCON 2023 tournament account but a Zambian defender deflected Usman Owoyemi’s shot slightly wide for a corner kick.
They finally had the ball in the back of the net in the 13th minute but it was ruled out for offside. The game became a little equal after that with the Nigeria Super Eagles hopefuls enjoying most of the ball. Zambia almost went ahead just before halftime but a shot from them kissed the woodwork and deflected out for a goal kick.
Ugbade's boys would pile on the pressure from the blast of the whistle indicating the start of the second half but Zambia defended brilliantly. The junior Chipolopolo also had a few chances of their own but the Golden Eaglets were up to the defensive task.
It was not until the 75th minute when G12 Football Academy's Favour Daniel scored off a rebound. They almost doubled their lead in the 91st minute after being awarded a penalty but Light Eke would scuff the resulting spot kick.
Nduka Ugbade and his boys would walk away with all three points as they look to survive their very tough group and make it to the next round.
“We are motivated for the next game” – Man of the match Yahaya Lawali
Full back Yahaya Lawali was named the man of the match after the entertaining tie.
He dedicated his award to the team and praised Ugbade for his attention to detail which he instilled in the team, claiming it helped them get past their Southern African opponents.
Speaking with CAFOnline after receiving his award, Lawali said: “I am really delighted, and this means a lot to me. Being named man of the match in the first game for the team is a massive encouragement.
“This is not my trophy, though.” he continued. “It belongs to the team; the coaches, the staff and my teammates. We all worked hard for this.
Congratulations Yahaya Lawali, he was VOTED ‘Man of the Match’ against Zambia.@mahanaimFC product.
He is the future right back.
Watch out for him! pic.twitter.com/wA1VL2N6eq
— Adepoju Tobi Samuel 🇳🇬 (@OgaNlaMedia) April 30, 2023
“It was a really tough game because Zambia are a good side. The little details gave us a win today. We scored when it mattered most, and we defended well. It has given us motivation for the next game.”
The under-17 Nigeria national football team will face off against Morocco in their next game for a chance at qualification for the next round. It promises to be a tough game and you can stay tuned for the live scores of the game.
The Golden Eaglets have gotten their AFCON campaign off to a great start and ahead of their next fixture, fans can participate in the action and use the Betway sign up offer or 1xbet promo code to begin playing.
Fans can stay updated with the live scores surrounding the Golden Eaglets, between now and the end of the competition.
This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago