Nigeria’s Under-17 team, Golden Eaglets, were beaten 2-1 by Gabon’s national junior side Sunday in their Final Round-First Leg of the 2015 African Under-17 Championship qualifier at the Stade Augustin Monedan de Sibang in Libreville.
Victor Osimhen gave the Golden Eaglets an early fourth minute goal while the home side levelled up through Moubouhy Ngouba in the 26th minute and Maomikolo Boundembi scored the winner in the 80th minute of an engrossing match that saw Osimhen getting a controversial red card from Central African Republic referee, Jean Marc Ganamandji in the 70th minute.
“The boys gave their best under the circumstances that we found ourselves, especially the difficult travelling arrangement which caused fatigue especially in the second half,” said Coach Emmanuel Amuneke.
“But with all sense of responsibility, the officiating of this match was poor but we have to put this behind us and focus on the second leg.
“From what we have seen, we would have came out with a better result if we had taken our chances in the first half but we can get better at home ,” he stated.
The Golden Eaglets started the game well as Osimhen grabbed the curtain raiser in the 4th minute when he pushed the ball beyond the reach of the Gabonese goalkeeper off a pullout from Kehinde Ayinde.
The Gabonese, however, got their equalizer through Moubouhy Ngouba following a free kick in the 26th minute after referee Ganamandji made a foul call on goalkeeper Amos Benjamin.
There were few chances in between in the second half and referee Ganamandji gave Osimhen a red card in the 70th minute for an offence after a yellow card in the 55th minute.
The Eaglets will depart Libreville on Monday morning to prepare for the second leg in either Kaduna or Calabar.