2019 African Games: Nigeria fail to break 46-year jinx, lose football gold

2019 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations
2019 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations, Flying Eagles Team

The hope of Nigeria ending a 46-year wait for a gold medal in the men’s football event at the African Games was dashed on Friday by Burkina Faso.

Nigeria’s U-20 men’s team, the Flying Eagles, were beaten 2-0 by their Burkinabe counterparts at the Boubker Aamar Stadium, the same venue where the Falconets battled to gold against Cameroon.

Nigeria last won the football gold medal on home soil in 1973 and expectations were high that coach Paul Aigbogun’s men will break the jinx in Rabat.

That, however, was not the case as two goals in the first half condemned Nigeria to another silver medal.

It was Cheick Djibrik Ouattara that got the curtain-raiser for Burkina Faso, the 24th minute before IIsmaila Ouedraogo doubled the lead six minutes later.

The Flying Eagles failed to find their way back into the game and thus settled for a silver medal for the third time after those of Algiers 1978 and Abuja 2003.

While football gold was off the reach, two gold medals were delivered yet again in Canoeing by Bello Ayomide.

The 4x400m Women’s Relay team made up with the quartet of Kemi Francis, Patience Okon-Goerge, Blessing Oladoye and Favour Ofili ran the race of their lives to win gold in 3:30.32

Sade Olatoye won also gold in the shot put event.

As at the time of this report, Nigeria was still second with 44 gold, 30 silver and 37 bronze medals.

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