Nigeria reach CAF U-17 semis after decimating Congo

Nigeria reach CAF U-17 semis after decimating Congo
20 April 2013 06:57

The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria returned to winnings ways with an emphatic 7-0 victory over Congo during the last Group B match played in Marrakech on Saturday. Congo played for about an hour with nine men after two expulsions in on 32nd and 39th minutes but Nigeria was already 2-0 up at the time of the first expulsion. The win took Nigeria into the semi-finals of the CAF U-17 Championship and also ensured qualification for the FIFA World Cup to be played in October and November in United Arab Emirates.The match was only three (3) minutes old when Kelechi Iheanacho hooked home with his left boot for the opening goal from inside the box. A cross from the right sailed over everyone in the box and Musa Yahaya sent back into the box a low cross which Iheanacho converted into the match’s first goal.After conceding the early goal Congo then steadily played themselves back into the game and threatened Nigeria goal with Nyatsongo Obassi, Gassama Issambet and Kader Bidimbou involved. 22 minutes into the game Bidimbou did well to beat his marker and create some space to run at the next defender but he was adjudged to have gone down in the box too easily and Nigeria escaped with a free-kick. A few minutes afterwards Nigeria made a charge into the Congolese box and current tournament top- goal scorer, Success Isaac reacted quickest to to-poke past advancing goalkeeper Mpea Darnet Ombandza and Nigeria had their second goal.It got worse for the Junior Red Devil on 31st minute when defender Ngampio Imouele used his hands to stop a goal bound effort from Benard Bulbwa. While Imouele who was the last man in line of defence when he handled was marching off the field Success dispatched the spot kick to make it 3-0 to Nigeria. At the other end Congo came close to their first goal but Issambet hit the cross bar from about six meters out. Despite the man disadvantage the Congolese maintained their offensive style of play but worse got worst for the Congolese when Sakou Yobi was sent off for a bad challenge on Abdullahi Mutsapha 39 minutes into the game. Four minutes later Nigeria with a numerically advantage attacked from the left flank, stretching the Congolese defence and Success managed to pick out Iheanacho with a ball across goal which the latter tapped in for Nigeria’s fourth.After the interval it took just three minutes for The Golden Eaglets to score their fifth.  Musa Yahaya finished off a move that broke through the center of the Congolese defence.  Yahaya had enough time to pick his spot and tuck the underneath Ombandza. The nine men Congolese tried hard but were always on the back foot chasing the ball and trying to stop the ceaseless Nigerian attacks. Soon the match resembled an attack versus defence training session drill and on 59th minute it was Ifeanyi Mathew‘s turn dribbled and break through to score the sixth goal for Nigeria Iheanacho completed his hat-trick after profiting from goalkeeper Ombandza’s error to score the seventh goal.  Nigeria finished top of Group B and will now play Tunisia in Marrakech while Cote d' Ivoire who drew 0-0 with Ghana finish behind Nigeria and will play host Morocco in Casablanca to complete the semi-final line-ups.