Nigeria’s U-17 national team, the Golden Eaglets, suffered a disappointing exit from the under 17 AFCON 2023 after a 2-1 defeat to fellow West African opponents Burkina Faso in the quarter-finals held in Algiers.
With this result, the Golden Eaglets’ dreams of participating in the upcoming under 17 World Cup later this year have been shattered, as Burkina Faso secures their place among the four African representatives in the tournament. The other teams to qualify from the continent are Senegal, Mali, and Morocco.
The Nigerian team can attribute their elimination to their poor finishing skills and defensive errors. The Junior Stallions took control of the match by grabbing a 2-0 lead against the five-time world champions, courtesy of Aboubacar Camara’s contributions.
Camara first capitalized on a rebound just before halftime to find the back of the net, and then secured his brace from the penalty spot in the 57th minute. The penalty was awarded after a Burkinabe player was fouled inside the box while on a goal-bound run.
In a bid to mount a comeback, Abubakar Abdullahi managed to pull one back for Nigeria with a simple tap-in midway through the second half, providing a glimmer of hope for the Eaglets. However, their efforts fell short as the young Nigerian players struggled to convert any chances in front of goal to level the score.
The defeat marks a significant setback for Nigeria’s U-17 national team, who have a rich history in youth football. The Golden Eaglets, renowned for their past successes, will now have to regroup and refocus in their pursuit of future international glory.