5 Reasons Flying Eagles Crashed Out Of CAF U-20 AFCON

5 Reasons Flying Eagles Crashed Out Of CAF U-20 AFCON

Completesportsnigeria.com's JOHNNY EDWARD holds an inquest into the shocking 'death' of  Nigeria's 2017 CAF U-20 AFCON  and 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup ambitions. Below are five factors that worked against the Nigeria U-20s and ensured that their Sudanese counterparts won their two legged final qualifiers with higher away goals following a 5-5 aggregate scoresheet.


1. Complacency:  

Despite having so many travails to keep up with, the Flying Eagles were abjectly poor against the ten man Sudanese side that showed more desire to qualify for the 2017 AYC in Zambia despite losing the first leg in Omdurman. The visitors won all 50-50 challenges during the encounter and were more clinical in goal than their hosts who paraded Arsenal and Wolfsburg targets Kelechi Nwakali and Victor Osimhen. Obviously complacent, Flying Eagles played to the gallery most times during the encounter.

Zenith Ziva

2. Lack of motivation: 

Having been owed four months match bonuses and allowances, The Flying Eagles team got a N5million naira boost on the eve of the second leg clash in Lagos, which didn’t help matters. The team showed in their play that the needed team spirit and bond to overcome energetic and tactful Sudanese side were lacking.

3. Victor Osimhen

He had been a talking-point  in the team since he equaled the goal scoring record at the 2015 FIFA World Cup in Chile and it's appropriate to end it talking about the enigmatic Victor Osimhen. Although he scored in the defeat to Sudan, he will surely be very disappointed with his performance. He was earmarked as the Flying Eagles star player, but he missed two crucial chances against Sudan on Saturday with the score at 2-1. OSimhen looked far from his very best.  Nigeria’s hopes were pinned on him to be the star player and one of the leaders of the team, unfortunately, his performance like those of the other Flying Eagles players, was poor against Sudan.

4. Weak Wing-backs

Tobechukwu Ibe and Udochukwu Anumudu played dismally in the two legged encounters against Sudan. Ibe known for his brilliant delivery, did not put in any good corners or crosses at Teslim Balogun Stadium Lagos. Anumudu's defending in the games was poor and he looked completely out of his depth.

5. Emmanuel Amuneke

Emmanuel Amuneke, overall, seems to have done a good job for Nigeria at the age grade level, but there is a question over his ability to motivate the players during trying moments. He looked unsettled by the lethargic display of his team, but it was obvious that his lads had no response to the onslaught the young Sudanese had on offer against his boys.


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  • Eric Ibekwe 5 years ago

    You should have added the synthetic play ground as part of the course of Flying Eagles failure. Flying Eagles had played most of their previous matches on natural grass, so why on earth would NFF move such important match to Teslim Balogun Stadium with Synthetic grass. It has actually shown that this current NFF Leadership with their so called Technical Committee has nothing to offer Nigeria Football. The results are there to show. (No AFCON for both Senior and Junior National Teams) 

  • Richard Ubi 5 years ago

    The team believed that they will surely qualify before the final whistle, and under rated the Sudanese team simply because they won the first leg in Sudan. This is a lesson for them and other national teams. That you must continue fighting until the final whistle.

  • Emmanuel 5 years ago

    NFF always get it wrong with technical impact, how on earth the chooses synthetic instead of natural grass, NFF should stop to disgrace Nigeria football