Nigeria’s U20 national team, the Flying Eagles, battered their counterparts from Mauritania 5-0 at the Agege Stadium in Lagos on yesterday to qualify (6-1 aggregate) for the 2019 Africa U20 Cup of Nations to be staged in Niger Republic.
Having missed the 2017 finals in Zambia following a home defeat to Sudan also in Lagos after winning in Khartoum, the class of 2018 were in no mood for small measures and showed their dominance right from kick –off, throwing everything at an equally –determined Mauritanian contingent on a damp turf.
There were early doubts the match would go ahead due to torrential downpour, but workmen somehow made the pitch playable and the match commissioner, Sallieu Kamara from Sierra Leone, gave the go –ahead for the contest.
Crunchy tackles and flying bodies were the order of t he day as both teams showed desire.
Wasiu Alalade broke the visitors’ resistance in the 12th minute with a scorching shot right inside the box that goalkeeper Amadou Fall could do nothing to stop.
Both teams fought a fierce and furious contest throughout, but at no time was there any doubt about Nigeria’s superiority and Nazifi Yahaya soon added a second when he had only the goalkeeper to beat.
Yahaya made sure of the third only two minutes after the restart, heading beyond Fall from Utin’s corner kick.
Another well –placed drive by Yahaya was diverted for a corner by Fall, and from the resultant kick, Aniekeme Okon made it four for Nigeria.
Alalade, Yahaya and Okon came close to scoring as the seven –time African champions took the game by the scruff in the latter stages, and Norway –based Afeez Aremu would put the icing on the cake in added time when he slotted past Fall from the penalty spot after Okon was badly halted in the box.