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2017 U-20 AFCON: Sudan Stuns Flying Eagles

Nigeria ’ s Flying Eagles , yesterday , crashed
out of the 2017 AFCON U20 finals
qualification race following a stunning
unexpected defeat by their Sudanese
opponents at the Teslim Balogun Stadium,
Surulere , Lagos .

The Flying Eagles had won the first leg
encounter 2-1 in Khartoum, Sudan a fortnight
ago and playing in front of the Lagos fans ,
they failed to prove to be the better team
with a 4- 3 defeat Samuel Chukwueze, who
was a thorn in the flesh of the Sudanese
defence , shot the Flying Eagles ahead in the
first quarter of the match with a stunning
shot from the edge of the visitors’ penalty
area that beat goalkeeper Isgag Adam Abdalla
hands down .

Chukwueze had initiated the move a few
metres from the centre circle evading three
opposing players before unleashing the shot.
Despites the Flying Eagles dominance , the
Sudanese equalized seven minutes later
through Amjad Ismaila Ahmed, who
capitalised on poor defending to register his
name on the score sheet .

However , Funsho Bamgboye restored the
Flying Eagles lead in the 27th minute after
making a tap in from a pull -out from the
right wing but the Central Africans were not
done yet as they pegged the Flying back in
the 43rd minute with curving shot by Khalid
Abdelmoneim which goalkeeper Akpan failed
to stop as the first half ended 2-2.
On resumption of the second half, Coach
Emmanuel Amuneke pulled out Gavi
Thompson and replaced him with Orji
Okonkwo as he attempted to boost the Flying
Eagles attack which was lacking bite upfront
but his introduction did not make any
significant impact as the visitors grew in
confidence and occasionally put the Flying
Eagles under pressure.

The occasional pressure of the visiting side
eventually paid off as Walaa Eldin Musa
capitalised on yet more slack defending by
the Flying Eagles to put his side in the front
seat for the first time in the 60 th minute but
two minute later he received a second
booking and was sent out .

With the numerical advantage , the Flying
Eagles continued to mount pressure on their
opponents’ defence which eventually carved-
in in the 62nd minute as Orji Okonkwo
scored to bring the scoreline to 3- 3, which
meant the Nigerians would have qualified
courtesy of their away victory .

But the Sudanese had other ideas and
wrapped up the game with a goal in the 83 rd
minute to stop the Flying Eagles from the
2017 AFCON . Though the tie ended 5- 5
aggregate , but the Flying Eagles crashed out
on away goals.

Mohammed Mazda, Sudan senior team head
coach , who took charge of the team ’ s rescue
mission after the first leg home loss ,
attributed their victory to hard work and the
determination to excel but also admitted that
the Flying Eagles were not lucky as they
missed countless chances .

“ It’ s a tough game but we gave our all and at
the end we won . Nigeria played well, they
missed many scoring chance but I think we
deserved the victory , considering the fact we
played with 10 players for more than 25
minutes . So it was a sweet victory , ” he said .