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Nigeria, Benin Republic to contest WAFU B-U20 final


Flying Eagles of Nigeria

The Flying Eagles of Nigeria will slug it out with the Under-20 Squirrels of the Republic of Benin in the final of the WAFU Zone B Under-20 Championship on Friday, in Niamey, the capital of the Niger Republic.

A hastily arranged Flying Eagles tutored by Coach Ladan Bosso sealed their place in the final after an energy-sapping 2-1 extra-time victory over Cote d’Ivoire, last night; while the Benin Republic stunned Burkina Faso 2-1 in the first semi-final played yesterday at the Seyni Kountche Stadium, in Niger.

The highly-anticipated clash between Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire lived up to expectation as the Flying Eagles imposed their physique on the Ivorian to triumph.

Following the 1-1 draw in regulation time, Nigeria proved superior in extra time through Ibrahim Yahaya who also secured the Under-20 AFCON qualification for his country after converting a 109th-minute penalty.

Things also started very quickly for Nigeria, when Man of the Match, Daniel Daga in the fifth minute, took advantage of an error by the Ivorian goalkeeper to open the scoring early in the game.

Just before the break Seydou Traoré, the Elephants’ striker, got the Ivorians back into the game when he combined effectively with his midfielders to restore parity.

The Flying Eagles imposed defensive rigour and the Ivorians did not find the keys to unlocking the Nigerian defense until the final whistle.

By virtue of qualifying for the final, both sides have punched their tickets for the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations.