By John Egbokhan
Flying Eagles’ quest to become the first African team to qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland has been put on the ice following a barren draw with South Africa yesterday at the Stade General Seyni Kountche in Niamey.
Amajita as the South African youth team are called, claimed their second point at the CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations while the Flying Eagles have four points after two matches played at the tournament.
The South Africans were bidding for their first win of the competition but fell short of their target but would be nonetheless pleased to scrape a point against the tournament favourites and record African champions.
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Amajita struggled to get the ball off Nigeria early on, but they did manage to carve out a chance, which Siphesihle Mkhize failed to capitalise on.
Flying Eagles, coached by former Enyimba gaffer, Paul Aigbogun, were in control for most of the first half, however they were unable to trouble Khulekani Kubheka.in goal for the South Africa. They were wasteful and lacked creative in front of goal. Barely forcing their opponents goalkeeper to make a telling save.
In the second half, Thabo Senong’s charges showed a bit more adventure and managed to string a few passes together following the introduction of Promise Mkhma.
The Nigerians took control for the rest of the second half in search of a winning goal that would secure their spot in the semifinal sdtage.
Unfortunately, that was the pattern for the rest of the half as the Nigerians now search for the World Cup ticket in their last group match against hosts Niger Republic on Friday while Amajita battle Burundi in the other clash on same day.