Nigeria’s U-20 team, the Flying Eagles, finished their campaign at the 2019 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations on a disappointing note as they were beaten 5-3 on penalties by South Africa’s Amajita on Saturday.
The Flying Eagles who are seven-time champions of this tournament were caged all through the encounter as they fired blanks all through the regulation period as well as the extra time before the game was finally decided via penalties.
Just as it was the case in the Semifinal game against Mali, the Flying Eagles lost their opening kick in the penalty shootouts and that proved costly as the South Africans seized the advantage from then and went on to win.
Saturday’s triumph is quite historic for South Africa as this is the first time ever, they will be finishing in third place in the history of the competition.
Their second-place finish over 20 years ago in Morocco remains the best ever performance by the South Africans.
For Nigeria, this is also the first time ever they will be finishing in the fourth place.
The Flying Eagles have won the Africa U-20 title on a record seven times, finished as runners-up on two occasions and settled for third place on three other occasions.
A brand-new champion is expected to emerge at the 2019 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations taking place in the Niger Republic on Sunday as finalists Senegal and Mali have never won this tournament.
Already, the quartet of Senegal, Mali, South Africa and Nigeria have all secured tickets to represent Africa at the FIFA U-20 World Cup that would be taking place in Poland later this year.
Unlike the U-17 World Cup where Africa has been dominant, Africa has enjoyed minimal success at past editions of the FIFA U-20 World Cup.