By Ayodele Ayelomi
The Flying Eagles of Nigeria has lost on 4-5 penalty shoot-out to South Africa’s Amajita in the third place match in the on-going 2019 Africa U20 Cup of Nations in Niamey. The seven –time champions finished outside the medals’ range at the tournament for the first time.
The Flying Eagles had earlier crashed out of the competition in the Semi-Finals match against Mali on Wednesday.
The bane of the Flying Eagles in the competition was the failure of the Frank Aigbogun tutored-lads to put away a number of opportunities that came their way.
Peter Eletu, who was starting for the first time in the competition, lost what was a good opportunity in the 32nd minute when the ball fell invitingly to him just outside the Amajita’s eighteen –yard box during an onslaught. He instead hooked the ball listlessly over the bar.
The Flying Eagles’ play was characterised by poor passes, aimless shots and pathetic lack of marksmanship.
Alhassan Adamu, who scored the goal against host nation Niger Republic that made the Flying Eagles finish at the top of Group A and earn a place at the World Cup, fluffed Nigeria’s first kick in the shoot –out, following a dismal show by both teams in regulation time. South Africa scored all their kicks to pocket the bronze medal and of course the bragging rights after both teams finished their Group A clash scoreless on Matchday 2.
The results in Niger Republic has put pressure on Aigbogun and his assistants to re-jig the squad before the World Cup finals in Poland in three months time.
The competition comes to an end on Sunday, as the impressive Lionceau du Teranga lock horns with Mali’s Junior Eagles in the final match. 0000feffffff00