The Flying Eagles walked under the shadow of Young Scorpions of Gambia with naïve start conceding a winning goal in the seven minutes in the second semi-final match at the ongoing U20 AFCON Championships in Egypt.
The inexperienced coach Ladan Bosso led team looked cheap defensively and paid the price as Adama Bojang netted the decisive goal in the early minutes of the first half. Despite dominating possession the Flying Eagles lacked cohesion in style play and could not find the back of the net.
Nigeria forwards Ibrahim Muhammad, Samson Lawal, Haliru Arki and Francis Abuabakar played poorly in the attack lacking precision and direct shots on target.
In midfield the Gambians were more purposeful spreading their passes accurately to the wings and kept possession of play smartly. While the Nigerian players lacked creativity in midfield, obviously there wasn’t any individual brilliance in their play.
Gambian goalkeeper Ebou Dampha who is yet to concede a goal in the tournament made brilliant saves for the Young Scorpions. In what came close to an equalizer, substitute Ahmaed Abdullahi won a penalty but failed to convert the spot kick which the ball did hit the left post and rebound into the 85th minute of play.
The rock-cement defense of Gambian play displayed reasons the team has not conceded a goal in five games as they maintain a clean sheet.
The Flying Eagles had recorded 21 shots in the encounter with just four on target while Gambia had three shots and scored from one with two shots on target.
Meanwhile coach Ladan Bosso has admitted his team played stupidly and were naïve from start, “We failed to take our chances and we also missed the penalty in the 86th minute.”
The Flying Eagles will take on Tunisia in the third place match on Friday while Senegal will face Gambia in the final having thrashed Tunisia 3-0 in the first semi-final match in Cairo.
Gambian goalkeeper Ebou Dampha was adjudged man of the match following his stellar performance.