U20AFCON: Flying Eagles book World Cup spot

U20AFCON: Flying Eagles book World Cup spot
Olamilekan Adams of Nigeria celebrates goal of a teammate during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations U20 Egypt match Egypt and Nigeria held at Cairo International Stadium in Cairo, Egypt on 22 February 2023 ©Weam Mostafa/BackpagePix

Nigeria’s national U20 team the Flying Eagles on Thursday beat Uganda 1-0 in a quarter-final match of the U20 Africa Cup of Nations (U20AFCON) to book a spot at the U20 FIFA World Cup later this year.

The Flying Eagles needed to win in the game decided at the Suez Canal Stadium to guarantee themselves a place at the World Championship, their minimum target for the competition; they did just that.

After some period of dominance in the first half, Ladan Bosso’s Flying Eagles went in front on the half-hour mark in fortuitous fashion after Ibrahim Muhammad Beji’s shot came off the post but rebounded back into the net off Ugandan defender Ibrahim Juma.

The East Africans threw everything they could to the game in the second half but ultimately could not find a way past Nigerian goalkeeper Chijioke Aniagboso who captained the team on the day in the absence of the suspended Daniel Bameyi.

Bameyi’s replacement at centre back Abel Ogwuche produced a commanding performance which saw him named Man of the Match at the end of the game.

WAFU B champions Nigeria joined WAFU A champions Senegal to become the first two African countries to book their places at this year’s FIFA U20 World Cup. Earlier on Thursday, the Senegalese beat Benin 1-0 courtesy of Samba Diallo’s header.

The Flying Eagles will face the winner of Friday’s quarter-final tie between South Sudan and The Gambia in the semi-final on Monday.

Nigeria are the eighteenth (18th) nation to qualify for the 24-nation 2023 FIFA U20 World Cup in Indonesia scheduled to hold between May 20 and June 11. The draws for the competition will be held on March 31 in Jakarta.

NPFL: Kwara United adopt Akure home ground

Kwara United have been granted approval by the Interim Management Committee of the Nigeria Premier Football League to adopt the Ondo State Sports Complex, Akure as their new home ground for the remainder of the 2022/2023 abridged season.

The Harmony Boys played the first stanza of the season at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan due to ongoing renovation works of the Ilorin township stadium.

In a letter dated March 2, 2023, and signed by the Head of the Competition Department, Sunday Obaseki on behalf of the Head of Operations of the NPFL, the approval takes effect from Matchday 10 of the NPFL.

“We are pleased to inform you that the NPFL has approved your request to adopt Akure Township Stadium as your home ground, effective from matchday 10 fixture, Kwara United FC vs El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri.

“You are advised to put all necessary logistics in place at Akure Township Stadium for hitch-free games for the rest of the season”, the letter read in part.

The Ondo State Football Association have also been communicated.

Throughout their stay in Ibadan for the first stanza, they recorded just one win in four home matches, one defeat and two draws.

Meanwhile, former Sunshine Stars coach, Kabiru Dogo, was appointed as the new handler of the club before the end of the first stanza following the resignation of Azeez Mohammed.

Dogo, who was officially presented to the public in Ilorin on Tuesday, is familiar with Akure where he spent two seasons and has vowed to stabilize the club in the second stanza.

This article was most recently revised and updated 1 year ago

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