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AVERAGE: Flying Eagles’ Rating In U-20 AFCON 3rd-Place Defeat To South Africa

AVERAGE: Flying Eagles’ Rating In U-20 AFCON 3rd-Place Defeat To South Africa

Completesports.com’s ADEBOYE AMOSU appraises the performance of Flying Eagles’ players in their third-place match defeat, on penalties, to the Amajita of South Africa at the 2019 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Niamey, Niger Republic..



Made his first start of the competition for the Flying Eagles in this Third-Place match against the Amajita. Ogundare had little or nothing to do in the game. Failed to cover himself in glory by letting in all South Africa’s five spot kicks.

Zenith Ziva


Scored in the penalty shoot-out. It was also an improved showing from his previous performance in the competition.


Captained the Flying Eagles in the absence of Ikouwen Udoh who was left on the bench. A calm and composed performance from the centre-back who didn’t allow his penalty miss in the semi-final defeat to Mali affect his game.


Formed a good partnership with James Ozornwafor at the heart of the Flying Eagles’ defence. He also moved the ball well from the defence.


Didn’t do badly in his first appearance in the competition. Proved to be a capable backup for Ikouwen Udoh.


Another player who made his first appearance of the competition for the Flying Eagles in the game. Put up an average showing in the middle of the pack.

Also Read: U-20 AFCON: Flying Eagles Finish 4th, Lose 5-3 To S/Africa On Penalties


Toiled hard to impress in the game without much success. He was replaced by Nazifi Yahaya 20 minutes from time.


He was one of Nigeria’s brightest players on the pitch. Alhassan’s missed spot-kick however cost Nigeria the game.


Full of energy in the match, but was unable to penetrate the South African defence.


Started his second match of the competition. Put up an average showing against the physical South African defence. Also deftly converted Nigeria’s fourth penalty.


Didn’t do badly in his first start of the competition. Durugbor however couldn’t replicate his heroics like he did in the previous game against Mali.



Didn’t make much impact following his introduction for Peter Eletu in the 55th minute.


Failed to add to his one goal tally in the competition after coming in for Ibrahim Aliyu 20 minutes from time.

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  • Paulprince 3 years ago

    Wow… defeat to South Africa???

  • A team that could only score a total of 4 goals in open play in 5 games (2 of those goals are flukes), IS THAT ONE A TEAM?

    Just like 0.05 goal average per game against African opposition; what will they do against European and South American oppositions? No natural goal scorers. No prolific player that could score in the whole of 90 minutes. Ikuoewem, the defender and captain had to attempt to do the so-called strikers’ role for them.

  • Arguably the worst flying eagles team in ages. This team lack any conviction to play as a team no creativity no guile just damn below average. A lot need to be done to make this team competitive.
    If you are to compare Manu Garba’s team you’ll agree with me that they are miles ahead of this team, despite playing against teams in the Nigerian Professional teams the same lads took this team no cleaners. In which the bulk of that team where snapped up after their triumph at the u17 world cup. Perhaps the player that left the team prior to the start of the tournament was a major set back but in all sincerity this team is calling for star players that will bring the needed impetus to strive at the world stage.

  • Well, average more than sums of the overall performance of this team in my view.

    The introduction of Nazifi was meant to add bite to the attack but the number 9 will have sleepless nights for days to come if he looks back at the chance he fluffed shortly after what could have been another inspired substitution by Aigbogun with the goalkeeper beaten, but his effort going agonisingly just wide.

    After the encounter, a disappointed Aigbogun was quoted in Supersports.com as saying: “Unfortunately we couldn’t score during the 90 minutes and it goes to penalties like the semifinal and it’s anybody’s game and unfortunately we lost.

    He went on to say: “I don’t think you can train penalties well; our first penalty taker lost and he has been taking all our penalties.” He said.

    Well I disagree.

    Though penalties can be like a lottery, the fact that his “young” boys failed this test 2 matches in row means this is an area he needs to address.

    Yes, penalty has an element of luck but there is also an art to penalty taking which his team is yet to master.

    Add that to his team’s poor goals-to-games ratio and you can only conclude that much work needs to be done between now and June to present a ‘fresh faced’ team with a philosophy which fans can buy into, possessing enough overall skills, technical abilities and goal scoring acumen to excite fans and produce results in Poland.

  • Obviously…Nigeria conceded just one goal in 5 games in an open play and individual ratings since the beginning of the tournament favour the central defence pair, the right back and the defensive midfielder. In my opinion,the other midfielders including the left back should be relegated to the bench and the attack should be replaced totally. But seriously, the left back really disappointed me(remembering what he played against athletico Madrid in the second half when he came in)

  • ….I suggested the midfielders should be relegated to the bench because I can see that they still created little chances in those games..I believe they can do more by learning from the better players.

    • I am in total agreement Sean. In a previous post I wrote:

      I quite agree that some of the (20) shots were perhaps wayward but if you whittle these 20 attempts down to “actual shots on target”, Nigeria still had 4 shots that could have scored compared to South Africa who had 0 shots on target.

      What this means is: Our boys tested their goalkeeper while their strikers ensured our goalkeeper was on holiday prior to the penalty shoot-outs.

      Over the course of the tournament, the Flying Eagles comparative “actual shots on target” stats are as follows:

      Group Stage:
      Nigeria Vs Burundi: 9:1
      Nigeria vs South Africa : 3:1
      Nigeria vs Niger: 4:0

      Knockout Stage:
      Nigeria vs Mali: 7:4
      Nigeria vs South Africa: 4:0

      Combined total: 27:6

      So, out of 27 shots that could have potentially gone in, only 4 made it to the back of the net giving a conversion ratio of 14.8% which is truly appalling.

      Aigbogun’s boys are creating the chances but are failing to nestle the ball in the back of the net enough times to produce success.

      The ex-Eyimba coach needs lethal strikers, savvy wingers and a bit more option in the middle of the park to achieve anything meaningful in Poland.

      A younger looking squad might also appease some of his more intransigent critics.

      • Franklin 3 years ago

        like me. he needs 2 do more In all areas as u mentioned

  • Nicolsen 3 years ago

    Defeat to South Africa. NFF pls sack this coach and his poor set of players before the World Cup.

    The truth is they are not good enough to wear that jersey.

  • Sacking of coach and the entire team, is like taking one step forward and two steps backwards. I believe injecting few more players those that can keep possession and create good scoring chances for strikers to convert the chances, again change of playing style as opposed to playing long balls. If they had played as a team they would have found themselves scoring lots of goals before the opposition settles. The coach should go back to all the matches they played there is much improvement to be made in the final third.
    Against Mali, any coach will tell his boys to keep the ball on the ground because crosses will be hard to find your team mates because of the sizes of the Malian defence. But they kept doing the same over and over. No disrespect but it was like watching our local league back in the days its excruciatingly painful to watch.
    But maybe the coach doesn’t have a plan B. Who knows??

  • Dr. Drey 3 years ago

    I just saw this book, “how to defeat Nigeria’s U20 team at U20 AFCON 2019” and it has just 2 chapters
    Chapter one – Play 2 right backs, 2 left backs, 1 right wing back and 1 left wing back
    Chapter two – Force the game to extra time.
    I guess that was the book the SA and Mali coaches read.
    Apart from an assemblage of a tonne of crappy old men, the team had just one tactic all through the tournament…..ball from central defence to full backs….from full backs to the wingers….the wingers go to the bye line and put a cross into the box……wait for whatever happens thereafter…! Shikena…! End results….1 well worked goal off a cross from the wings (from the 1st match against burundi) plus 3 other fluke goals….all in 5 games. The worst goals return from any nigerian u20 team at the u20 afcon since 2001.
    Even penalties…..these ones cannot score.
    Way forward……technical crew should go back and do lots of self introspection and massively overall both the midfield and attack of the team. They should borrow Manu Garba and crew’s template…..the man is not working in any better conditions than theirs…infact he works in worse conditions as MRI tests always keeps decimating his team almost till the last minutes, yet he manages to churn out exceptionally gifted and talented players and results for the country.
    Nuff said…!

  • I believe that the U20 level is purely developmental and winning at this level should not be really the key focus. For developmental reasons the minimum standard should be for the team to qualify for the world cup which they did. The world cup stage offers them room for further exposure out of which Nigeria may be fortunate to get one or two quality talents to move up the ladder. Please be mindful that Nigeria failed to qualify for the last edition of the U20 afcon or the worldcup and so this group has done significantly better. Remember other power houses in youth football like Ghana and the North Africans failed to qualify. Kudos to the team and NFA but still much room for improvement in the identification of the rightly aged players and grooming of same into world beaters