Nigeria’s U20 boys, Flying Eagles, failed to reach the 17th Africa U20 Cup of Nations Final after losing by the odd goal to The Gambia’s Young Lions in the second semi-final played at the Cairo International Stadium on Monday evening.
Lanky forward Adama Bojang capitalized on a defensive slip by captain Daniel Bameyi to slot beyond goalkeeper Chijioke Aniagboso for the only goal of the match in the 7th minute. It was the only goal Aniagboso had conceded in the tournament.
Nigeria’s rapid raiders Ibrahim Muhammad, Samson Lawal, Haliru Sarki and Francis Abubakar failed to get their strikes on target, and in the second half, Belgium-based forward Ahmed Abdullahi struck the base of the upright from the penalty spot as the Flying Eagles put every foot wrong.
Defender Benjamin Frederick showed grit and intention in the 77th minute but his efforts were foiled close to goal. Two minutes into added time, Onuche Ogbelu’s rising shot rose too high.
The Gambia will take on Senegal’s Young Lions of the Teranga in Saturday’s Final. The Group A winners sliced Tunisia to bits in a 3-0 win in the first semi-final played at the Suez Canal Authority Stadium in Ismailia earlier in the day.
Seven-time champions Nigeria will play for the bronze medals against Tunisia on Friday.