CAF U-17 Championship: Again, Baby Elephants march over Eaglets
Golden Eaglets of Nigeria were last night in Marrakech, Morocco, beaten 5¬-4 on penalties by the Baby Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire after a grueling encounter that ended 1-1 at full time. The Eaglets started better in the final match of the championship and it was not a surprise when they recorded an early goal, as Prince Izu Omego latched onto a rebound after the Ivorian goalkeeper had parried a headed ball into his path in the 8th minute of the first half.
The Coach Manu Garba-tutored lads continued to control proceedings and looked likely to increase the tally, but for some begging chances which they fluffed. The Baby Elephants had their best chance of the half in the 25th minute, when defender, Bille Bedia’s header sailed into the Eaglets’ net. Both teams returned for the second half with great determination and had chances of going ahead in the match, but each missed its opportunities.
In the 73rd minute, Nigeria’s defender and scorer of the first goal, Prince Omega was shown a straight red card after he needlessly elbowed an Ivorian defender. However, Eaglets fought gallantly despite the numerical disadvantage to keep the score line at 1-1 after 90 minutes. Going by the FIFA rule, no extra time was played and the match had to be decided on penalties. In the process, the Eaglets were unlucky to miss a kick, while the Ivorians scored all theirs to win the 10th edition of the African Under-17 Championship in Morocco.