The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria ‘sneaked’ into the last four of the African U-17 tournament yesterday, no thanks to the Baby Elephants of Ivory Coast, who defeated the Black Starlets of Ghana 3-1 in their last Group B in Togo.
The Nigerian team, led by coach Fatai Amoo, had put themselves in tight corner by losing 0-1 to Cote d’Ivoire in their first game before playing 1-1 with Ghana.
Since then, many football-loving Nigerians began to pray for the Baby Elephants to beat Ghana with a two-goal margin. The Ivoiriens responded in a big way yesterday by triumphing 3-1, a result, which sent the Black Starlets of Ghana out of the championship.
Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria have booked qualification to the last four from Group B.
After the end of the group games, Cote d’Ivoire topped with six points while the Eaglets finished second with one point.
Both the Eaglets and Ghana had a point each but the Nigeian side advanced on superior goals difference.
Following their qualification, the Eaglets will now face Group A winners Burkina Faso in the semi-finals and Cote d’Ivoire will tackle Niger Republic.
Both semi-finals will take place on Friday 15 January.
The two teams that emerge from the semi-finals will qualify for the 2021 U-17 AFCON which will be hosted in Morocco.
The hosts, Togo, were disqualified from the competition two days ago for fielding a player, who failed an MRI age test. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) communicated Togo’s disqualification in a memo to the Togo FA.