Nigeria U-17 have qualified for the Fifa U17 World Cup after holding Uganda U-17 to a 1-1 stalemate at the Chamazi Stadium to progress to the semi-finals of the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations.
Ahead of the Saturday’s match, both of the teams in Group A had a chance of going through, but Nigeria held on to finish atop the log after Ibraheem Jabaar’s equaliser saw them dump the Cecafa champions out of the competition.
Olakunle Olusegun paid the price for his wastefulness in Nigeria’s 1-0 win over Angola, with Jabaar taking his spot in attack.
Manu Garba’s boys dominated the first half, with their opponents happy to soak up the pressure, and break away at any given opportunity.
The Golden Eaglets continued with their profligacy in the final third but created a number of chances, Akinkunmi Amoo’s miss in the 17th minute the pick of the bunch.
The winger was also culpable of missing another chance that would have given his side a lead going into the half-time break, heading a Shedrack Tanko delivery wide despite being unmarked.
Immediately after the break, Jabaar tested Jack Komakech with a low drive. The goalkeeper was up to the task, however.
Amoo, upon getting injured, was put out of his misery before the hour mark, with Wednesday’s match-winner Olusegun taking his spot.
Uganda were unlucky not to have taken the lead after Andrew Kawooya’s freekick could only beat Stephen Sunday, but the crossbar intervened. As it turned out, it was the midfielder’s replacement that gave the Ugandans the lead.
John Alou came on for Kawooya in the 67th minute and after only two minutes on the pitch, he met a corner kick delivery to open the scoring.
Golden Eaglets responded immediately through Jabaar, who poked home past Komakech. The Uganda goalkeeper, however, was at his best this time to deny Wisdom Ubani from giving Nigeria the lead.
Both sides could not score a winner – or Uganda the three unreplied goals required based on Angola’s exploit elsewhere – and a draw meant Nigeria joined Cameroon at the U-17 World Cup later this year in Brazil.
Angola got to the semis – and the World Cup – after defeating hosts Tanzania 4-2 in the other Group A match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, thus, finishing behind the Golden Eaglets with six points.