The Flying Eagles of Nigeria failed to qualify for the final of the ongoing U20 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt after they lost 1-0 to The Gambia at the Cairo International Stadium.
The failure ended Coach Ladan Bosso’s dream to extend Nigeria’s domination of the tournament to eight continental crown. As consolation, the Flying Eagles are to play in the losers’ third-place game against Tunisia on Friday.
As early as 7th minute, The Gambia profited from a defensive slip by captain Daniel Bameyi when the Young Scorpions’ forward, Adama Bojang, latched on a loose ball to fire beyond the reach of goalkeeper Chijioke Aniagboso for the only goal of the match.
Nigeria’s rapid raiders Ibrahim Muhammad, Samson Lawal, Haliru Sarki and Francis Abubakar failed to get their strikes on target.
Late in the second half, Nigeria got the chance to drag the game into extra time when Flying Eagles were rewarded with a penalty by VAR. Belgium-based striker Ahmed Abdullahi was fouled by the Gambia’s goalkeeper inside the box
But Abdullahi struck the kick against the base of the upright from the penalty spot to cap an evening of poor marksmanship by perhaps the worst Flying Eagles ever.
They played like a team lacking any input of a gaffer as they put every foot wrong.
The Gambia will take on Senegal’s Young Lions of the Teranga in Saturday’s Final.
The Group A winners sliced Tunisia to bits in a 3-0 win in the first semi-final played at the Suez Canal Authority Stadium in Ismailia earlier in the day.