Five-time world champions, Nigeria must avoid a defeat in their final group game against Uganda to finally seal qualification to the U17 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Although, the Golden Eaglets defeated Angola by a lone goal in Dar es Salaam yesterday to put a foot in the cadets World Cup, a 2-0 defeat to Uganda mighty jeopardise their chances of sealing qualification ticket depending on the Tanzania/Angola match.
Should Angola defeat Tanzania by a two goal margin and Nigeria loses to Uganda by the same margin, both Angola and Uganda will pick the two semifinal tickets.
In yesterday’s match, Golden Eaglets’ Olakunle Olusegun hooked a 21st minute penalty to the roof of the net with Angola’s goalkeeper, Geovani stranded. But the Golden Eaglets were guilty of profligacy and the technical crew has much to do still.
As happened against host nation, Tanzania on Sunday, the Eaglets proved to be masters of use of space and close control, but they lacked the right ideas and punch in the final third, just as some passes went astray at critical moments.
Two-goal hero against Tanzania, Wisdom Ubani could have been on the score-sheet in the 11th minute, but his effort from a 22-yard free kick went off target.
Angola was not to be browbeaten, as Zito latched onto the ball a few metres from the centre and unleashed a rocket that goalkeeper Sunday Stephen, in for the jittery Suleman Shaibu, did well to punch away.
Three minutes later, Stephen had to be alerted to push away another Angolan shot, but two minutes later, at the other end, Ubani’s swift turn and shot came close, with Geovani beaten.
An Angolan defender handled the ball in the box under pressure in the 21st minute and Olusegun made no mistake from the spot to put Nigeria in front.
They could have had many more, but Shedrack Tanko bundled against the upright in the 42nd minute, when it appeared easier to score and Olusegun’s effort to chip Goevani from a counter was well-read by the goalkeeper.
In the second half, the Eaglets’ profligacy continued, even after the Angolans were reduced to 10 men in the 51st minute, as Jose Cabincano earned a second yellow card.