The Flying Eagles, yesterday, secured qualification to next year’s Africa U-20 Nation’s Cup to be hosted by Niger Republic, after thrashing their Mauritanian counterparts, Al-Murabitun 5-0. The match was played at the Agege Township Stadium, Lagos.
Two goals in the first half and another three in the second half was all the Flying Eagles needed to seal their participation in the bi-annual continental championships. Wasiu Alalade opened the scoring in the 11th minute, but the team had to wait till the 33rd minute for the second goal of the encounter, which came through Nazifi Yahaya.
At beginning of the second half, the Eagles continued mounting pressure and were rewarded in the 47th minute when Yahaya got his second, and the country’s third. The sustained pressure thrilled the fans and in the 72nd minute, Aniekeme Okon added to the goal tally.
The Coach Paul Aigbogun-led side glided till the 90th minute when Mahmoud Abdullah brought down Okon inside the box and Afeez Are converted the resultant penalty. Reacting to the victory, captain of the Flying Eagles Ikouwen Udo said the team had no choice than to qualify after the promise made by the Rufus Giwa-led Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), First Vice President, Obinna Ogba.
“We had no choice after our vice president told us to go and win earlier today. Don’t forget that he assured us that our winning bonus has been restored and we were therefore condemned to win,” Okon stated. Ogba, who lead the delegation, had earlier visited the players at their camp, where he informed them that the Giwa-led NFF had restored their match bonuses, and made a personal pledge of N500,000 per goal scored.