Nigeria falled to a 1-2 defeat against fellow West African side Burkina Faso in the quarter-final of the ongoing U17 Nations Cup in Algeria on Thursday night.
While Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets wobbled with a leaky defence, Burkina Faso’s Young Etalons took the few opportunities that came their way to conquer at last.
With the outcome of the match, Nigeria known for abundance of raw young football talents will be missing at the 2023 FIFA World Cup.
How The Match Was Decided
Charles Agada, who scored Nigeria’s first goal against South Africa in their last group phase in Constantine on Saturday, wasted an opportunity as early as the second minute, and Abubakar Abdullahi, another scorer from the 3-2 defeat of South Africa, hit a scorching shot that rocked the crossbar with seven minutes gone.
Agada also hit the upright from a tussle inside the box on the quarter-hour, and was then denied by the opposing goalkeeper with seven minutes left in the first period.
In the 40th minute, Jeremiah Olaleke saved the Eaglets’ blushes by heading the ball away on the goal-line with goalkeeper Richard Odoh stranded, but the same player was culpable when his howler inside the box, after Odoh had parried an inswinger, let in Aboubacar Camara to put Burkina Faso ahead on the dot of half time.
Eleven minutes into the second half, the Young Etalons were further ahead when Camara slotted past Odoh from the penalty spot following a foul on Souleymane Alio – the player who scored two goals against Cameroon to dump out the Cup holders and get the Burkinabes to the last eight.
Abubakar Abdullahi pulled one back for Nigeria in the 67th minute, after good work from the left by Favour Daniel and Emmanuel Michael.
But it all proved a bridge too far as the Burkinabes held on to claim a famous victory, and a place in the AFCON semi finals and the FIFA World Cup.
Complete World Cup Nations
Burkina Faso has now joined Senegal, Morocco and Mali in the semi-final stage.
The four countries will represent Africa at the World Cup.