Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso – (African Boulevard News) – The Golden Eaglets saw a lot of the ball, but their lack of precision in the final third proved to be costly in the end. The Nigerian U-17 national team lost to Burkina Faso in the semifinals of the U-17 AFCON tournament.
Coach Nduka Ugbade spoke to reporters after the match and identified their inability to take their chances as the reason why the Golden Eaglets fell short.
“We played well and had a lot of opportunities, but we failed to convert them into goals. That was the difference between the two teams,” Ugbade said.
The match started with both teams showing a lot of energy and intent. Nigeria quickly took control of the game, with their midfield dominating possession. However, the Nigerian team was unable to create clear-cut chances due to Burkina Faso’s organized defense.
Burkina Faso, on the other hand, became more aggressive as the match wore on. They were quick to capitalize on any misplays by the Nigerian defense, which led to a goal in the 35th minute.
The second half saw Nigeria playing with more urgency, but they still struggled to break down the Burkina Faso defense. Burkina Faso’s goalkeeper stood tall and made a series of impressive saves to keep Nigeria from scoring.
Nigeria’s frustration became evident towards the end of the match, with the players resorting to taking long-range shots that were easily saved.
Burkina Faso held on to their lead and secured their place in the finals of the tournament.
The loss means Nigeria will not be defending their U-17 AFCON title. They will, however, have a chance to secure a spot at the U-17 World Cup later this year, when they play the third-place match against the loser of the second semifinal match.
In conclusion, the Golden Eaglets were left ruing missed opportunities as they saw their U-17 AFCON title defense come to an end. Burkina Faso, on the other hand, will be looking to make history by winning their first-ever African U-17 Championship.