Flying Eagles qualify for this summer's World Cup after 1-0 victory over Niger Republic

NIGERIA'S Flying Eagles have qualified for the 2019 U21 World Cup taking place in Poland later this year following their 1-0 victory over hosts Niger Republic last night in the African Youth Championships.


Between May 23 and June 15, the U21 World Cup involving 24 teams to which Africa sends four representatives will be taking place in Poland. Qualification for the World Cup automatically goes to the four top teams in the African championship, which is the two teams that qualify from their groups in the eight team tournament.


Nigeria was grouped in group A alongside Burundi, South Africa and Niger Republic in the African Championship and having secured seven points from three games has qualified for the semi finals and by default the World Cup. In their opening game, the Flying Eagles beat Burundi 2-0 before playing a 0-0 draw with South Africa and then beating Niger Republic yesterday.


Kano Pillars midfielder Alhassan Ibrahim scored the winner yesterday in the 73rd minute through a free kick, sending the Flying Eagles through. With the defeat, hosts Niger Republic crash out of the tournament as South Africa clinches the other semi-final spot in the group following their 1-0 victory over Burundi in a game that took place simultaneously.


Yesterday, the Flying Eagles dominated the game and Nigeria should have opened scoring as early as the fourth minute when striker Nazifi Yahaya was put through on goal but his shot was somehow kept out. Early in the second half, the Niger Republic goalkeeper did well to keep his side level with some good saves as they held on.


Niger Republic battled hard but they lacked quality when they pushed forward, although they came close towards the end of the game. On Wednesday, Nigeria will now face Ghana in the semi finals, while South Africa will take on Senegal for a place in the final.