By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Defending champions Atletico Madrid U-17s on Saturday defeated the Nigeria Professional Football League U-17 All Stars 2-1 in the final of the 2017 Gauteng Future Champions tournament, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The Nigerian team is coached by former Super Eagles captain and head coach Austin Eguavoen.
Alberto Salido and Adrian Luque scored for the Spanish side while Yahaya Nazifi scored for Nigeria.
Salido scored for Atletico in the 22nd minute through a pin-point header from Rodrigo Riquelme’s cross.
Rodrigo Riquelme then tested Mohammed Galadima in Nigeria’s goal with a long range shot shortly after the goal, which the Nasarawa United keeper pushed away for a corner.
Toluwalase Arokodare, Nazifi Yahaya and Salisu Musa Mustapha were particularly dangerous attacking the Spanish side with their pace and power.
Mustapha had Nigeria’s best chance in the game in the 44th minute but he went for power and not precision when facing the Atletico keeper.
Nigeria’s NPFL U-17 team then equalised in the 48th minute through Yahaya Nazifi.
Atletico goalkeeper Jose Saldana pulled the shirt of the Kano Pillars youngster inside the box, gifting the Nigerians a penalty. The striker stepped up and converted it, his fourth goal of the tournament.
Adrian Luque restored Atletico’s lead in the 60th minute through another headed goal.
The Nigerian defence were again guilty of not marking their men as the Spanish player nodded the ball unhindered beyond the reach of Galadima.
To get to the final, the NPFL side drew against SAFA Tshwane 1-1, defeated Torino 3-0 and Football School of India 11-0 in Group A matches.
The Nigerians then eliminated Mamelodi Sundowns 3-0 in their semi-final match.