Nigeria’s Flying Eagles Celebrate As African Champions

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Under 20 cupThe Flying Eagles, inspired by a noisy atmosphere inside Stade Léopold Sédar, brought the hosts down to their knees with a great display to win the African Youth Championship, reports

Nigeria defeated Senegal 1-0 to win the 20th edition of the African U20 Championship played on Sunday night at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor in Dakar.

A first half wonder strike from Bernard Bulbwa was all the highly-talented Nigerians needed to seal a seventh title on African soil.

The host came into the game with the intention of avenging their 3-1 defeat to the Nigerians in the opening day of the competition but were halted by goalkeeper Joshua Enaholo’s brilliance.

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El Hadji Niang had the game’s first chance when he came one-on-one with the Nigeria goalkeeper but saw the attempt fail as Enaholo rushed out on time to save with his legs.

In the 19th minute, Bulbwa trapped the ball nicely before delivering a spectacular thunderbolt that caught Senegal goalie Ibrahim Sy and silence the deafening crowd at the stadium.

After the goal, Nigeria slowed the tempo of the game as Les Lionceaux dominated ball possession. Three minutes past the half-hour mark, the homers had a good chance to score after Sidy Sarr had squared to captain Roger Gomis, but the latter fired wide to the chagrin of the crowd.

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On resumption of the second half, Senegal resumed with the same tempo and few minutes into the game were denied by Nigeria goalie Enaholo who palmed away Niang’s goal-bound drive to a thunderous applause from the pockets of Nigeria fans at the stadium.

After failing to make their dominance count, goalkeeper Sy made another superb save from Ifeanyi Matthew three minutes from time. The Flying Eagles held on to achieve a record extending seventh title in the biennial tournament.

Ghana’s Yaw Yeboah was named player of the tournament as Bulbwa got the man of the match, while Musa Muhammed won the top scorer’s award with four goals all gotten from the penalty spot.

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