Nigeria’s Flying Eagles emerge African champions

The Nigeria U20 team, the Flying Eagles, have been crowned champions of the 19th Africa Youth Championships as they defeated hosts, Senegal, by a lone goal in a thrilling final match on Sunday night at the 45,000-capacity Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium.

A stunning goal from Bernard Bulbwa in the first half was all that was required for Nigeria to lift her 7th AYC trophy.
Nigeria and Senegal had faced each other two weeks ago in the group opener of the competition AYC with the Flying Eagles emerging as 3-1 winners.

Going into Sunday’s game, the Flying Eagles had vowed to complete a double but the Senegalese who were making the final for the first time promised to turn the tables against Coach Manu Garba and his boys in the final match.

The Senegal team did try to turn things around as they enjoyed the earlier attacking foray in Sunday’s final match with the likes of Ndiaye and El Hadji Niang both attempting to get the ball past Flying Eagles goalkeeper, Joshua Enaholo, who was in good form.

Despite Senegal’s initial initiatives, it was the Flying Eagles that took the lead in the 19th minute when Bernard Bulbwa justified his late inclusion in the starting line-up with a wonderful goal that is in contention for goal of the tournament.

From then on the two teams tried with no success to get another goal.

Before this latest triumph in Senegal, the Flying Eagles’ previous AYC title were in 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 2005 and 2011.

Earlier in the day, Ghana won the third place game defeating Mali 3-1. The four teams that reached the semi-final – Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, and Mali- will represent Africa at the FIFA U20 World Cup.


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  • Sputnik

    …is there any 73yr old in the team?…I mean the inclusion of a player of that age on the ‘irrefutable presumption’ that he has the skill and stamina to compete. Any?

    This is what team work can do. Select the ‘active’ best…and not the docile below mediocre dunces on the banal basis of ethnicity and regional affinity above anything else.

    • Otile

      God bless you for telling them the truth.

  • Ayelala

    I stopped celebrating the U-17 and U21 a long time ago.
    You celebrate this, you celebrate corruption.
    Most of them are usually well above 27 years old.
    These old men are actively denying the real U21 the opportunity to rep their country.

    • richkid

      Your not well. What are you doing for Nigeria at your age, nothing

      • fab

        He needs to go for some check up.he’s sick upstairs

    • Bayo Ola

      Good observation Ayelala. People critisizing you confirm my worst fear about our value system. Tragically they might have attended church yesterday, and mosque last Friday, yet fail to realise that cheating is unGodly. Most of these Nigerian players, including other African players, are well over 20 years old. Cheating in age competition is one of the reasons African players seldom reach their potentials in their careers. As an example, Victor Ikpeba retired almost ten years before Thiery Henry retired, yet they both competed in the same under 21 age grade competiton, and were the two best players then. While Victor falsified his age (as my roomate in the University attended same High school with Victor and knows Victor’s true age), Thiery Henry did not falsify his age (that is not possible in France), so he (Henry) was able to reach his natural limit in his playing career. Also in recent memory, Lionel Messi and Mikel Obi were the two best players in 2005 under 21 FIFA competition. While Messi appears to be waxing stronger, consequences of natural age on player’s skills, are already taking their toil on Obi’s input into the game. In fact, the worst case in point is Philip Osondu, who claimed to be under 17 years while he was already in his 30’s. Thus he quickly passed his peak by the time his club in Belgium graduated him from junior team (they thought he was indeed under 17) to the senior team. He could not contribute to the game much until he retired. Africans should stop lying about their ages in FIFA age grade competition. Football administrators should help the game by discouraging age cheating. There are ways, not only medical methods, to confirm player’s age. One of the easiest way is educational qualification. How can you complete HND five years ago (like one of these players) and still be 20 years in 2015? Its not just possible if you do the maths. The maths do not add up. Africans must know the consequences of cheating are self defeating and destroy our future potentials in senior teams and senior World Cup competitions.Why must we lie about everything for goodness sake? Is this another case of cheating is not corruption!!

  • richkid

    This is GODWIN. It has been from one trophy to another! A sign of GOODLUCK. My dear truth be told this guy is GUDLUCK to NIGERIA. GEJ all the way

  • Scalywag

    This for incoming president GMB. In 1985 it was under his leadership that Nigerian Golden Eaglets won the very first World Cup trophy for Nigeria. Did you not see the Hand of God in how the goal was scored? That is how He will enthrone GMB. The blood of the innocent is crying to God

  • Thebeloved

    Congratulations Guys, you made us proud. God bless you and God bless Nigeria

  • David Adeniran

    At least one good news on Nigeria! It has been such a very scarce commodity!!!

  • Godfrey Etokebe

    Congratulation lads. Congratulation to President GEJ, the government and the Nigerian People!!!

  • burning spear

    President Jonathan has done it again—ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh———He gave 9ja the African Cup of the Nations-after waiting in the wilderness for 18 SOLID years—-4 it———-yet the bad people will not let good old Jonathan FROM THE OIL RICH SS-have peace of mind ———-till 2019———–Instead they went out of their way to bring a sick jihadist–who married his current wife when she was only 9 year old—-Buhari has been having sex with her from that period till now——yet the same woman had the guts–to call women from Edo–state prostitutes-Simply because sh resides in London with my oil money—————a vote for APC is a vote for Boko haram ati ISIS in IRAQ

  • D.A

    Congratulations coach Manu. In the last 2 years you have won the silver of the under 17 CAF, FIFA under 17 world cup and now CAF under 20 African title. I believe you will win the FIFA under 20 world cup in June. Once that is done, Hopefully you will take over the Super Eagles and take your fruits of your labour to the super Eagles. Hopefully, Jonathan and his incompetent Keshi would have been long gone by then!

  • mbhoni

    I’m South African and I must say it’s extremely hard to find positive stories from Nigeria. What has been occurring in that country is heart breaking. At least here is a positive piece to smile about. Congratulations Nigeria.