Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets have gone off to a flying start at the CAF Africa Junior Championship taking place in Niamey, Niger Republi by beating their hosts, the Junior Mena 2-0.
Two first half goals by Victor Osimhen and captain Kelechi Nwakali were enough to see the two time winners rake in their first three points of the campaign.
Nigeria weathered the early storm by the Junior Mena, who are playing in the competition for the first time and went ahead through Victor Osimhen who slotted the ball home in the 18th minute of the game.
Niger came close twice to restore parity through Sourajou and the impressive Mohammed but the Eaglets held firm.
Kelechi Nwakali had the chance to edge Nigeria ahead in the 20 minute but his shot failed to test the Nigerien goalie as Mohammed yet again tested Nigeria’s goalkeeper Udoh
The Eaglets were content on sitting and waiting to hit the host on the break and they did just that in the 29 minute when team captain Nwakali got Nigeria’s second to give the Eaglets a 2-0 lead.
Niger kept pounding the Eaglets goal area, twice coming close through Yousouf and Mohammed but the Eaglets were firm at the back.
Victor Osimhen had a great chance to thread a through ball that would have put Osinachi through on goal but decided to take a shot which didn’t trouble Niger.
Nigeria defender Abass was finding joy down the left flank for the Eaglets as he tormented the Nigerien defence to no end, even though his crosses could have been better for Osimhen to feed on.
The Junior Mena offered very little in the second half in terms of attacking the Eaglets goal even though midfielder Larasako had a tame effort saved by Udoh
Niger nearly put the ball into their own net after a Suleiman corner kick caused panic in their defence as captain Mohammed Djabiri’s attempted clearance nearly fell in his own net in the 71 minute.
Omar Moctar also had a chance from a corner to get a goal for Niger but skied his effort as the Junior Mena upped the temp to try and get back into the game.
Nigeria held on for the win against their win and are now in good position towards qualifying for the FIFA Under 17 World Cup in Chile, reports supersport.com.
Nigeria starting X1:
Udoh, Awal, Abbas, Zakari, Bamidele, Osinachi, Michael, Nwakali, Suleiman, Charles, Osimhen.