AFCON U-20 Qualifiers: Mauritania hold Flying Eagles to 1-1 draw

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By Abolade Ogundimu

Abuja, July 14, 2018 (NAN) The nation’s U-20 team, Flying Eagles were on Saturday held to a 1-1 draw by their Mauritanian counterparts at the end of the first leg of the U-20 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ibrahim Babawo of Niger Tornadoes FC of Minna put Nigeria in early lead in the first half, while their host equalised in the first half.

However, efforts by both sides to secure victory did not materialise throughout match in the third round of the qualifiers.

Abdullahi Maikaba, Assistant Coach to Paul Aigbogun, in a post match interview at the Stade Olympique, Nouakchott, Mauritania, said: “The match ended well even when our players didn’t start off very well.

“Our boys had early goal during the match and played better in second half but were unable to convert their chances to additional goals.

“Away goal is good and we have known the Mauritanians’ playing pattern and it will help us to get a better result when we meet again.

Maikaba said their opponents were a good side but expressed optimism about the Flying Eagles’ qualification for 2019 AFCON.

The Aigbogun’s boys will have to ensure a comfortable victory at home during their return leg next weekend in Lagos.

Their next encounter will determine the side that will go for the 2019 U-20 AFCON billed for Niger Republic.

Similarly, top four teams of the tournament will represent Africa at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Congo also draw 2-2 with Senegal, while Burkina Faso won 3-1 against Gabon in the other qualifiers played on Saturday. (NAN)

Biola Lawal

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