Nigeria’s U-20 team, the Flying Eagles proved its superiority over their Ghanaian counterpart to book a place in the finals of the 2015 African Under-20 Youth Championship (AYC) following a 2-0 defeat of the Black Satellites in the first semi-finals played at the Leopold Senghor Stadium in Dakar-Senegal on Wednesday evening.
A goal in each half through Obinna Nwobodo and skipper, Musa Muhammed sealed the victory for the impressive Flying Eagles team to maintain their unbeaten run at the 2015 AYC and secure a ticket for Nigeria’s seventh AYC title. The Manu Garba led-Eagles would play either Mali or Senegal whose semi-final game comes up on Thursday evening, in the finals.
The Flying Eagles’ triumph against Ghana’s Black Satellite may not have come to many watchers of the team by surprise. Besides going into the game as bookmakers’ favourites, players and officials of the Nigerian team had exuded confidence of beating their West African arch-rivals en route to the finals of the AYC.
Super Eagles assistant captain Taiwo Awoniyi, not only assured that the team will crush the Sellas Tetteh-led Satellites but would lift the trophy on Sunday. “We know the entire country expects only one thing from us – victory. And we will deliver this on Wednesday and in the final on Sunday,” Awoniyi declared.
First choice goal keeper, Olorunleke Ojo also predicted a resounding victory with better performance for the Flying Eagles. “We are going into the game with much confidence and concentration, our mind-set is to win the game and we believe we have what it takes to do us, we would do according to what the coaches want from us, we have beaten them before (in a friendly) and by God’s grace we will do it again,” declared the Giwa FC player.
Before beating Ghana 2-0 in the semi-finals, the Flying Eagles finished tops in Group A with seven points, after beating Senegal 3-1 in the opening match, followed up with a resounding 4-1 victory over Congo, before forcing Cote d’Ivoire to a 2-2 draw.
The team averaged three goals per match in the first round matches and scored goals at ease. Team captain, Musa Mohammed is the current leading goal scorer with four goals while striker, Taiwo Awoniyi has scored three goals so far and Ifeanyi Matthew two goals.
By Olisemeka Obeche