Niger 0-2 Nigeria: Eaglets Claim African U-17 Championship Opener

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Nigeria got off to a winning start at the 2015 Africa Under-17 Championship seeing off host nation Niger 2-0 in Sunday’s opening game in Niamey.

Goals from the midfield duo of Victor Osimhen and skipper Kelechi Nwakali sealed victory for the Golden Eaglets, who moved top of Group A, with Guinea and Zambia set to take to the pitch in the other match of the pool.

The game began with a colourful opening ceremony, which had Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou in attendance, as well as Caf President Issa Hayatou, Caf Executive Committee and members of the Organizing Committee of the CafU17 championship.

Golden Eaglets Players in Prayer Mood after Their 2-0 Win against Hosts Niger in the Opening Game of the Africa U-17 Championship in Niamey. Image: Caf Via AFP.
Golden Eaglets Players in Prayer Mood after Their 2-0 Win against Hosts Niger in the Opening Game of the Africa U-17 Championship in Niamey. Image: Caf Via AFP.

The two time champions were 2-0 up at the break, courtesy of Osimhen’s 18th-minute opening striker and Nwakali’s fantastic free-kick from outside the area.

Souradjou Alhassane almost pulled a goal back for the Nigeriens before the break but couldn’t direct his effort at goalkeeper Akpan Udoh’s goal.

Every attempt to reduce the goal arrears proved abortive for the hosts, as the organised Eaglets defence remained resolute at keeping a clean slate- much to the distaste of the partisan crowd at the Stade Seyni Kountche.

Nigeria starting XI vs Niger (4:3:3): Akpan Udoh; Abbas Usman, Saddam Awal, Ayodeji Bamidele, Zakari Usman Halilu; Kingsley Michael, Abdullahi Suleiman, Kelechi Nwakali; Victor Osimhen, Christian Charles, Ebere Osinachi,

Subs: Amos Benjamin, Lazarus John, Chibueze Kanu, Orji Okonkwo, Maxwell Paul, Uko Anietie, Nazifi Yahaya, Suleiman Muhammed, Chukwueze Samuel, Nwokoecha Chukwuebuka

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