NPFL U-18 All-Stars team beat South African team, Mamelodi Sundowns, 3-0 in the first semi-final of the 2017 edition of the Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament holding in South Africa.
Nasifi Yahaya scored two goals in the first half for NPFL U-18 All-Stars team – the first after just two minutes, as Mamelodi Sundowns seemed to freeze after the referee released the ball from a dropped ball. Yahaya had the command of the box to chest and pick his spot.
The Nigerian team, coached by former international and Super Eagles manager, Austin Eguavoen, was dominant in the early exchanges and should have increased the goal tally twice in the opening 15 minutes.
First, in the seventh minute, lanky forward, Toluwalase Arokodare, did not show enough composure on a cross from the right, as he blasted over. Yahaya was then guilty of a glaring miss 15 minutes into the half when he had a one-on-one with the Sundowns goalkeeper.
The second goal came from the penalty spot after a high boot from Khumalo on Ishak. The Sundowns defender was shown a straight red card and because Ishak retaliated, he was also shown a straight red card.
Yahaya kept his composure and placed his kick to the goalkeeper’s right for a two-goal lead.
Abdulahi Sadiq scored the third, five minutes into the second half as Sundowns lost the ball in attack and Mustapha broke down the right and set up Sadiq, who placed his shot past the goalkeeper.
Sadiq waltzed past three defenders 13 minutes into the second half but he could not cap his fine run with a good finish. Mustapha then hit the cross bar a minute later after Arokodare’s goal-bound shot had been parried.
Dini Lawal came on for Arokodare in the 22nd minute in the second half after Arokodare failed to run off a toe injury. The Nigerian team will now await the winner between Bidvest Wits and Atletico Madrid.