Nigeria’s Under-17 team, Golden Eaglets, were held to a 1-1 draw on Saturday by Majesty Soccer Academy at the University of Calabar’s Abraham Ordia Stadium.
Golden Eaglets’ Sunday Alimi’s first half goal was cancelled courtesy of a penalty goal by Effa Edet in the second half.
The Golden Eaglets started the match with an experimental line up as coach Emmanuel Amuneke gave rare starting shirts to the likes of Dauda Abdulganiyu, Nuru Umar, Adewale Adeyinka, and Sunday Alimi amongst others. But it was
Alimi, former national under-15 player that scored the opener in the 12th minute as he slotted the ball -off a diagonal pass from Umar-behind Majesty Academy’s goalkeeper, Charles Patrick.
Yet, there was little or nothing to choose from both sides thereafter and they merely resulted to huffing and puffing of the ball from one end to the other.
On resumption of the second half, Amuneke brought into the fray some of his regulars including Captain Kelechi Nwakali who soon took over the midfield and enlivened the pitch with his remarkable style as the Eaglets piled more pressure on the opposition.
However, against the run of play in the 62nd minute, Majesty’s Brown James wearing jersey No. 7 broke into the Golden Eaglets’ goal area after outpacing defender Anas Mohammed from the flank; but he was wrestled down in the box by Dayo Femi. The resultant penalty kick was converted by Effa Edet as he sent Eaglets’ goalkeeper Amos Benjamin the other way .Thereafter, Majesty defended in their numbers to keep the prowling Golden Eaglets’ striking duo of Victor Osimhen and Kehinde Ayinde at bay for the remainder of the match.
“This kind of opposition is good for us since it would let our boys know that nobody would dash us anything,” said Amuneke.”The boys actually lifted their game in the second half and maybe we could have run away with a win, but for that unfortunate error that caused the penalty.”
The former African Footballer of the Year said playing the friendly match against Majesty Academy was another opportunity to ascertain the readiness of the team towards their forthcoming 2015 African Under-17 Championship qualifier against Gabon in September.
Golden Eaglets line up vs. Majesty Academy
E. Nwokeocha (B.Amos 45)-L. John(A. Muhammed 45); F. Kenechukwu
(D.Uzama 45);U.Ogugua(A.Usman 45);D.Femi; N.Umar(S.Chukwu;A.
Adewale(E.Agenor 37);H.Okebugwu(K. Nwakali); D.Abdulganiyu (K.Ayinde
45); S.Alimi(S.Abdullahi 45); E. Osinachi( V. Osimhen)