Nigeria’s U-17 team, Golden Eaglets on Saturday beat Sokoto United 2
-0 at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna.
Kaduna’s home boy Suleiman Abdullahi and languid striker, Victor Osimhen scored twice in the second stanza to break the resolve of their more experienced opponents who fought like Trojans throughout.
In fact, it took some gallantry display on the part of Sokoto United’s goalkeeper Masud Isah for keeping the score line at a respectable margin against the
Nigeria National League side.
Golden Eaglets soon took over the match moments after Sokoto United took the kick off following signal by referee Patrick Ishaya. Victor Osimhen got Eaglets’ first real chance in the seventh minute but saw his shot going over the bar. He also saw goalkeeper Isah held firmly to his well-directed header following a cross by Etiboy Akpan in the 22nd minute. Five minutes later, Isah again foiled the Golden Eaglets
when he tipped over the bar Suleiman Abdullahi’s goal-bound header as both side failed to score in the first half.
Coach Emmanuel Amuneke brought in Abass Ibrahim for Ernest Agenor on resumption of the second half to rev up the midfield and the former U-15 lad added some vibrancy into the team’s play.
The first goal finally came in the 70th minute when Osimhen dropped a header on the path of lurking Abdullahi in the box and the midfielder blasted the ball into the net despite Isah’s spirited effort to stop the ball.
Osimhen was back in the 77th minute to break his duck when
he glided a header off a pull-out by Suleiman Coach Amuneke said he was happy with the overall performance of the boys despite a nervy start.
“We don’t expect them to play without any error but we are happy they were able to comport themselves against an experienced Nigeria National League side,” he said.
“We are happy that we are making progress since we resumed camping on December 14th.
“Of course, we are working towards our objective in Niger and by the
grace of God, we shall secure our ticket to the World Cup in Chile,”
affirmed the 1994 African Footballer of the Year.