U17 AFCON: Golden Eaglets Crash Out After Burkina Faso Defeat

U17 AFCON: Golden Eaglets Crash Out After Burkina Faso Defeat
Nigeria U17 goalkeeper Richard Odoh challenges Burkina Faso's Souleymane Alio

The Nigeria national U17 team, aka the Golden Eaglets, crashed out of the ongoing TotalEnergies U17 AFCON competition in Algeria on Thursday evening.

Nigeria locked horns with Burkina Faso at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers, a side they had beaten in the AFCON Qualifying Rounds West Zone B final last year. But this time, the junior Stallions got revenge on the Golden Eaglets, defeating them 2-1.

Aboubacar Camara was the hero for the junior Stallions after scoring in both halves, while Abubakar Abdullahi scored the consolation goal for Nigeria.

As a result, Nigeria bowed out of the competition and failed to qualify for the U17 FIFA Championship scheduled later this year.

Nigeria Coach Speaks on U17 AFCON Defeat

Speaking to CAFonline after the game, the head coach of Golden Eaglets, Nduka Ugbade, said “The players are disappointed of course because they are young but we must support them because they need to continue their careers. We should work on their development because I believe that some of these players will eventually move to the senior national team”

“I am happy with the performance of our players and in such competitions, even if you lose, you gain something by developing the players for the future.”

Looking back at the defeat to Burkina Faso, Ugbade said the result would be different if his side were more clinical in front of goal.

“Everything worked as we had planned, but we could not score with the chances we had. We paid dearly for that. We learn the lessons and move on”.

Nigeria vs Burkina Faso: As It Happened

In the 1st minute of the game, Charles Agada went through on goal one-on-one with Stallions' goalkeeper from a Tochukwu Ogbabido pass. The goalie made a vital block to deny Nigeria an early lead.

Six minutes later, Abubakar Abdullahi could not tune down his shot as it rattled the crossbar, and another chance went begging for Nigeria.

Agada again had a chance in the 37th minute: he broke through on the right and unleashed his shot. But his shot was well saved by Burkina Faso's keeper.

In the final five minutes of the half, Burkina Faso raised their tempo, and Camara saw his effort cleared off the line by Jeremiah Olaleke. However, four minutes later, they went 1-0 up, Camara scoring from close range after Tochukwu Ogboji miscued his clearance from inside the box.

In the second half, Souleymane Alio was brought down inside the box by Ogboji. Aboubacar Camara, who had put the Stallions' noses in front, picked up the ball and converted the penalty in the 57th minute.

Favour Daniel came on in the 65th minute for the inefficient Light Eke, and just two minutes later, he assisted Abubakar Abdullahi for Nigeria's goal in the 67th minute.

Substitute Favour Daniel then had a looping header pushed to the bar by the keeper, while Umar Abubakar had a curling freekick saved for a corner.

The Golden Eaglets piled pressure to get a draw and force extra time, but despite their best efforts, the game was beyond them as Burkina Faso stood firm, defended well and saw out the U17 AFCON fixture.

The young Stallions will take on Senegal in the semi-final, hoping to book a place in the final.

Also, Burkina joins Senegal, Morocco and Mali as teams to represent Africa later this year in the FIFA U17 World Cup.

This article was most recently revised and updated 1 year ago

Chandan is a passionate writer, editor, and marketer with a love for football. He has bylines in leading online publications and has worked with renowned sports brands like The Olympics, Fox Sports Asia, and the Indian Super League (ISL). As for the unimpressive part, he loves Chelsea.