WAFU B U17: Golden Eaglets suffer s/finals defeat to Ivory Coast; miss out on U-17 AFCON

WAFU B U17 Championship: Golden Eaglets held by Burkina Faso in Group B opener

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets were beaten 1-0 by Cote d’Ivoire in the semi-final of the WAFU B U-17 Championship in Ghana on Saturday.

The Golden Eaglets, led by Manu Garba, were outclassed in the 54th minute by Ivorian youngster Youbah Coulibaly, who beat Nigerian goalkeeper Chinedu Dominic at his near post to put an end to his three-match run without conceding a goal.

The Little Elephants looked the better team at the University of Ghana Stadium, creating chances after chances, but their 73rd-minute attempt to double their lead was thwarted by the strong hands of Dominic.

The Eaglets came close to restoring parity but efforts from Abdulmuiz Adeleke and Imrana Muhammad failed to trouble the Ivorians.

The defeat meant the Golden Eaglets, who are WAFU B U17 defending champions, would miss out on the Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations and subsequently the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Nigeria, five-time winners and most decorated nation at the U-17 World Cup, last competed at the Mundial in 2019 in Brazil, having won it in 2015.

The Eaglets will now participate in the third-place match against hosts Ghana, who lost 2-1 to Burkina Faso in the other semifinal.

Cote d’Ivoire will play the Burkinabes in the final, with the two nations already booking qualification for the U-17 AFCON later this year.

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