The Nigeria U-20 team, the Flying Eagles, will have to play their final group game before they can be assured of a place in the semi-final of the ongoing U-20 Africa Cup of Nations. Qualification for the semi-final would also secure one of the four tickets for the World Cup.
The Coach Paul Aigbogun tutored side were held to a barren draw by South Africa on Tuesday at the Seyni Koutche Stadium in Niamey. That means their qualification for the World Cup and the semi-final of the tournament is still hanging in the balance.
The Flying Eagles had won their first game 2-0 against Burundi and they had been tagged as the favourite against the Amajita of South Africa.
South Africa had played a 1-1 draw against host Niger in their group opener; hence they needed a good result to stay in contention.
In Tuesday’s second group game, the Flying Eagles dominated the early exchanges and pegged back South Africa.
The duo of Maxwell Effiong and Nazifi Yahaya, who both scored in Sunday’s game against Burundi, posed a constant threat to South Africa. But goalkeeper of the Amajita did well not to allow any ball in.
In the second half, the Flying Eagles continued their dominance as South Africa defended stoutly to earn a share of the spoils and thus allow World Cup qualification to go to the wire.
Nigeria still sits on top of Group A with four points while South Africa have two points. Niger Republic and Burundi are set to play each other in the other group game.
Amajita will face Burundi in their final Group A clash on Friday evening and Flying Eagles will take on the host nation Niger.
The Flying Eagles still have their destiny in their own hands as they only need to avoid defeat in their last game against hosts Niger to ensure qualification for the semifinal of the competition.