Nigeria’s hope of qualifying for the 2021 African U-20 Nations Cup in Mauritania took a big hit yesterday when the Flying Eagles lost 0-1 to Black Satellites of Ghana in their second match of the on-going WAFU Zone B championship in Benin Republic.
Nigeria needed a win or at least a draw to stand a chance of making the semifinals after playing out a 1-1- draw with Cote d’Ivoire in their opening game. But the Flying Eagles fell to an 83rd minute goal scored by Precious Boah at the Stade Charles de Gaulles in Porto Novo.
The game was heading to a goalless draw when Nigeria conceded a 25-yard free kick and Boah fantastic free-kick to put the Flying Eagles in danger of being eliminated from the contest.
Nigeria had earlier had two goals disallowed in the first half.
The Flying Eagles had the chance to take the lead in the first half, with Wisdom Ubani getting the clearest opportunity in the 35th minute, but he could not make hay.
After their goal, the Ghanaians defended with everything they had to preserve their lead, which has put them on top of Group B table.
The Flying Eagles will now depend on Ghana beating Cote d’Ivoire by at least two goals in the group’s last game to have any chance of making the semifinal.
Yesterday’s win is a revenge of sorts for the Ghanaians, who lost to Nigeria in the first edition in 2018, when the Flying Eagles defeated the Satellites to reach the semifinals.
The WAFU Zone B Championship is the qualifying competition for the 2021 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations in Mauritania, which will also decide Africa’s representatives for the 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia.