Nigeria qualify for U17 Afcon after victory over Burkina Faso

Nigeria U17Twitter/UfoawafuB

Nigeria have qualified for the 2021 U17 Africa Cup of Nations after securing a 1-0 victory over Burkina Faso in the U17 Wafu B semi-finals on Friday.

Michael Emmanuel Papo scored the only goal of the encounter to send the Golden Eaglets to the final of the regional tournament which is being hosted by Togo.

Nigeria started the competition unimpressively after losing 1-0 against Ivory Coast in their opening Group B match, with Charles Mezia scoring the solitary goal.

Fatai Amoo’s boys then played out a 1-1 draw against Ghana which almost ended their campaign in the tournament but managed to reach the semi-finals after the Black Starlets lost to the young Elephants.

The Golden Eaglets boss Amoo named a strong squad for the encounter against Burkina Faso in their quest to secure victory.

Destiny Emuwahem started in goal for Nigeria while Victor Udoh, Joseph Kuteyi, Chukwuemeka Egbu, Peter Asuquo and Papo were also handed starting roles.

The match got underway with both sides aiming to outwit each other but despite their efforts, the first half ended 0-0.

After the restart, Papo broke the deadlock in the 77th minute of the encounter, firing home his effort from close range.

The goal was all the Golden Eaglets needed to seal their place in the final of the tournament and also qualify for the 2021 U17 Afcon in Morocco.

Nigeria will take on Ivory Coast in the final scheduled for January 18 in Lome after the Young Elephants defeated Niger in the semi-finals on Friday. 

The Golden Eaglets finished fourth at the 2019 U17 Afcon in Tanzania to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil.

Nigeria, under the guidance of Manu Garba, were, however, eliminated at the round of 16 stage of the competition after losing against the Netherlands.

The Golden Eaglets have won the U17 World Cup five times, making them the most successful team at the global tournament.