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Aigbogun: My Players Fought But Lost Difficult Match Vs Mali

Aigbogun: My Players Fought But Lost  Difficult Match Vs Mali

Flying Eagles head coach Paul Aigbogun has refused to blame his players despite their semi-final defeat to Mali at the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Niger, reports Completesports.com.

The Aiglons carried the day with a 4-3 triumph on penalties after the game ended 1-1 following 120 minutes of energy sapping action.

Mamadou Traore broke the deadlock for Mali on 77 minutes with a fierce drive inside the area from Hadji Drame’s clever through ball.

Zenith Ziva

The lead lasted for nine minutes as Flying Eagles’ substitute Paschal Durugbor fired in the equalizer past the helpless Mali goalkeeper and forced the match to extra time and penalties.

In the penalty shootout, Nigeria’s Valentine Ozornwafor and Aniekeme Okon both missed from the spot while Mali’s Boubacar Traore saw his effort saved by Olawale Oremade.

Also Read: U-20 AFCON Semis: Unlucky Flying Eagles Lose To Mali On Penalties

“It was a very difficult match against Mali and we fought as it should but unfortunately for us Mali won,” Aigbogun told reporters after the game.

“We congratulate the Malian team for their victory and qualification. Today we cannot say that something has not worked since the two teams were equal.”

Aigbogun will lead the Flying Eagles against the Amajita of South Africa in a Third Place fixture at the Seyni Kountche Stadium on Saturday.

By Adeboye Amosu

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  • Oakfield 3 years ago

    Sharap there Mr man, ur team struggled right from the beginning of the tourney. If u had selected the right players, if hadnt colleccted kickbacks to advertise players, your team would have won that match comfortably. Stop making baseless excuses, abeg.

  • Mr. Aigbogun, your players fought and lost difficult match against Mali by playing kick and follow! That is your apology for selecting below par players. Don’t tell me that in a nation of almost 200 million people and where football is taken as a religion, the players you took to Niger are the best players Nigeria can produce at under 20 level.
    It’s either you don’t know the current trend in modern football, unwilling to select the right players, or not prepared to do the right thing by scouting for real under 20 players. If you had selected the right and best players for that qualifiers, Flying eagles would have defeated that Malian team. Based on your glaring inadequacies, I personally do not think you should take flying eagles to Poland.

  • Sunnyb 3 years ago

    These junk heads should pls stop talking, everything is wrong with that country, we expect ppl like Finidi George running outrunder 20s not this bribe me and I will play you coaches.your team lost because you guys chooses mediocrity over merits. This team needs serious overhaul from the management down to the players, else they would be disgraced at the tournament

  • Nicolsen 3 years ago

    I fink the shapeless, clueless coach and his old u talented kick and follow players should be overhauled..

  • This is one of those instances where the scoreline and game statistics are in opposition in painting the full reflection of a match, in this case, the Flying Eagles semi-finals inconsequential loss to Mali.

    The Nigerian youths lost 3:4 on penalties after having shown admirable strength of character to draw level and push the Malian all the way to extra-time having conceded a goal towards the dying minutes of the match.

    The Malian could have been forgiven for believing that they had put their more illustrious opponents – who are accused of being older than they claim by a section of vociferous Eagles fans – to the sword with Traore’s goal in 78 minutes.

    However, Nigeria striker Durugbor had other ideas as he would have drown out the thoughts of “you are older than you claim you are” from his head to lash home in the 86 minutes to underscore what a piece of tactical genius coach Aigbogun is by introducing him 60.

    It was indeed an inspired substitution, one that will be overlooked by those whose sole perception of this team rest on age-cheat allegations.

    Stats don’t lie.

    In a match where the Flying Eagles had 25 shots against their opponent’s 16 with 7 on target as opposed to 4 from the Malians, Aigbogun’s boys (or men) did well.

    Over the course of the match, The Eagles had 63% possession with a passing accuracy of 64% compared to their Malians 37% possession and 46% pass accuracy accordingly.

    In the end, it came to the lottery of penalties to which mother luck deserted the young Eagles as they crashed 3:4 in match of minimal consequence as the aim of qualifying for the World Cup had already been achieved.

  • Wanogho 3 years ago

    Josh, thanks. I am with you. Our team played disjointed football right from the beginning of the tournament. No coordination, kick and follow football, no pattern, can’t even put two or three passes together. The coach, the most clueless I have seen in recent times. I don’t even know how our NFF appointed him as a coach in the first place. No doubt I am sure money has changed hands before NFF appointed Aigbogun.And I am sure money changed hands before players were selected by the coach. Look at the average crop of players he assembled as our U 20 team. When will the NFF and our coaches start inviting players to our national teams on merit. The NFF and coaches they appoint are killing Nigerian football.They really are.

  • greenturf 3 years ago

    Talk is cheap.It’s easy to stack blames on a coach who worked under very difficult circumstances.This coaches have to start preparations a month to qualifiers just like Imama is doing with our under 23’s with the match against Libya few weeks away and camping resumed yesterday with just 12 players in attendance and you expect them to assemble the best collections of players within this short period are you kidding?
    The blame should be directed to the NFF who wants to save cost and cant fund extensive long campings which should have provided the platform to scout hidden talents.Do you know Aigbogun’s proposed open screening was called off due to funding issues and lack of time because the qualifiers was drawing so close paving ways only for players plying there trade in the Nff professional league and few others about 40 personnel attended the screening exercise which formed the bulk of the team you saw in Niger.This are some logistic problems bedevilling the progress of football especially at various youth levels in the current dispensation.
    Having said that,going through our four games in Niger i can deduce our boys played well given the circumstances they met in Niger.The torrid weather and very bad playing turf which doesn’t encourage smooth football yet they dominated their opponents and showed grit and character against the host country to qualify with a vociferous crowd powering support for the opposition.First of all i give them credit for qualifying which is the primary assignment given to the team and it’s crew congratulations!Aigbogun and co.
    However,the team obviously needs improving in certain departments and i’m sure the coaching crew are not shortsighted to see this grey areas.Certainly with Aigbogun being a European which gives him that edge over our previous coaches at this level,convincing eligible youth scattered all over Europe wont be an impossible task but the coaches shouldn’t make a wholesale change because this will apparently disrupt the chemistry of the team,i think the coaches knows best.
    End of the day the end justify’s the means.Today Nigeria is seen as world champion of the Fifa under 17 world cup 2015 but no one cares to know the African playoffs winners which incidentally is not Nigeria as they finished disappointing fourth.
    I wish the flying eagles success in Poland.
    God bless Nigeria.

  • I think Samuel chukwueze, Kingsley Michael and Ryan Bennets will add spice and flair to the attacking force..

    • greenturf 3 years ago

      Samuel Chukwueze and Kingsley Michael are primed for the Olympic team it will be counterproductive to have them play for the under 20’s even when they are eligible because it would deprive us of unearthing a new star.This bloke Ryan Bennets in everyone lips as good as the name sounds may not be that great a talent.He cant just stroll in for a shirt he has to come to camp and justify his high rating which we cant justify ourselves.
      God bless Nigeria.

    • Jayden Bennetts trained with the flying Eagles in Abuja just before this tournament, but his club recalled him as they had a youth match. Watford promised he will be available for the world cup should we qualify.

      Chukwueze (Turns 20 in May) and Kingsley Micheal (turns 20 in August after the tournament) but I’ve not been able to find out if Chukwueze works be eligible as he might be a month too old.

      Having said that, the time frame allows them to appear in all three tournaments. Given that European clubs do not release players for African competitions and non FIFA organised qualification rounds, Nigeria has called up an all local player squad for the under 23 matches next month. They will most likely do the same all the way to the final.

      With the under 20 world cup in June this year, the Olympics in 2020 and the world cup in 2022, it’s entirely possible that both can use the tournaments as preparation for the world cup proper. Although,I think Chukwueze could well be fast tracked into the Super Eagles having played in the friendly against Uganda already.

      • Adisboy 3 years ago

        Big D players are eligible if they were born on or after Jan 1 1999. So if the players you mentioned fall within that then they are eligible

        • greenturf 3 years ago

          The NFF has sounded it out to the coaching crew of the flying eagles that Chukwueze and any other player capped by the team A super eagles are not available for selection so this development has ruled out Samuel Chukwueze.The reason was to unearth new talents because any youth player that has made it to the super eagles is a senior player and should remain in that category.
          I knew Jayden Bennetts was part of the camping programme of the flying eagles but was recalled by Watford however,the point i made was he still has to fight for a place with regular players and newbies when camp resumes for the Suwon and world cup tournaments respectively.I think the coaches are not done with running the rules over the lad before he was called back by club even at that new players would join the team to beef up the flying eagles so it’s like starting camping all over.

  • Asoko Emmanuel 3 years ago

    Deo,Greenturf& BigD u guys are an epitome of who and what objective critiques are.Never will be against criticism of anyone or a group cos I believe it will ginger them to be up and doing.However i have consistently said that criticism is not the same as insult or abuses.It is an infringement of a person’s right to be subjected to abuses or insults no matter what the situation is.Tanks to the above mentioned for being so objective yet very effective in ur analysis the point is very well taken even to those involved.

  • Flying eagles,,,,,brothers the players played but failed due to lack of talent in department of the team. The reason was not far fetch, the team was dominated by the north, the northerners have staminal, the west have first impressive action but does not last, the south- south and the south East guys are extremely talented, full of skills. They know what to do in a difficult situation.