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Live Blogging- 2019 U-20 AFCON, Nigeria Vs Mali Semi-Final Match

Live Blogging- 2019 U-20 AFCON, Nigeria Vs Mali Semi-Final Match

Join the text live blogging as you catch all the actions of the match between Niger Vs Nigeria at the ongoing 2019 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations .

Match details are as follows ;


2019 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations (Semi-Final)


Zenith Ziva

Date: Wed. February 8
Time: 4:30 pm 
Venue: Stade Général S. k. Niamey

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  • Charles 3 years ago


    • greenturf 3 years ago

      I know very disappointing indeed.Our problem is the art of scoring goals which the lads don’t have,just like the saying you cant give what you don’t have,what you see is what you get so what we have got is a lose in a match that we should have won in the course of 90 minutes.

  • Paschal 3 years ago

    It is good it happens this way so there will be a chance to overhaul this team. First they are overaged, second they lack quality. I hope we wont go to the world cup with this bunch. Apart from Ozorwafor, Igho Ogbu, Al Hassan, Ikouwem and the goalkeeper, I think the rest should be dropped. The midfielders dont even have footworks, no pace. And they allow these small boys who are much younger than them to run rings around them like this.

  • Edoman of NewJersey,USA 3 years ago

    What a shame !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Highly disappointed, l must tell you the truth.

  • Sir vick 3 years ago

    So this our over 20 team, lost to mali, what a huge dissappointment to nigerian football, but thank God with qualified for the world youth championship, over to paul aigbogun, this is work and more work

  • Dr. Drey 3 years ago

    The last time we had a flying eagles team (I find it very difficult referring to this team as U20 team) that lack ideas going forward was Godwin Uwua’s 2007 set that played in Congo. Terrible terrible team Paul Aigbogun assembled here…! Only the Gk, the 2 centre backs and the left back should remain in this team cos the team needs a complete overhaul. Aigbogun should go and ask Manu Garba how he manages to dig out excellent ball players for whatever team he is handling. So any team that can successfully lock up the wings can beat this team…??? Oh no no….this isn’t just it!

  • When you have a mediocre as coach, there is no way you will not have shambolic performances and results. I wonder how Aigbogun became the flying eagles coach. His technical ineptitude was on display throughout this tournament. He selected overage players and the players never understood the elementary knowledge of football.
    The players just displayed the quality that has become synonymous with the Nigerian domestic league. No wonder Nigerian coaches cannot produce a team that can win African champions league and African Confederations cup. What a shame!
    The fact is, the coach and the entire team and not just excluding the goalkeeper , leftbact or the two center backs must be dropped. The team as a whole is not just good. I smell rat in the way the coach and players were selected. Abi this no be naija?

  • PapaFem 3 years ago

    I know comments will drop, majority of which will condemn this team. An average Nigeria football fan doesn’t like their team losing, no matter how well they played. This team isn’t a totally bad side. They dominated possession, fought so hard , and responded brilliantly when they fell behind. I love any team with those qualities.
    Agreed, there’s a noticeable imbalance, especially in the final third. They lack intelligent strikers who can score goals. This is the missing link, because they were getting behind defences and creating chances. If Aigbogun could do his proper homework, look inward and outward for proven goalscorers, I see them going far at WYC.
    However, I like the contribution of the captain, the two centre backs, the goalkeeper and Jamil. These are the positives we should take from this completion. Wishing them the best in their next assignment.

    • Greenturf 3 years ago

      God bless you Papafem.You know football took the words out of my mouth

    • Dr. Drey 3 years ago

      @ Papafem…..Please how many incisive passes have you seen from this team since this tournament began….? How many through balls…? How many times have opposition defences been split open from midfield…? How many times have you seen attacking partners link up with diagonal runs through the center..? The absence of these and more is wat is annoying most people about this team. Yes, they are athletic, yes they take no prisoners, yes they are defensively solid, but apart from that defensive aspect of their game, attackwise they are zero. Always attacking down the wings, the same pattern they started this tournament with is wat they have sustained, does the coach think opposing teams are not studying his pattern of play. All teams simply lock up their wings and our FE loose all sense of direction. We have only scored one well-worked goal in this tournament and that was against burundi (the 1st goal). Other wise we’ve either had to settle for none against SA, or a fluke goal against Niger and another fluke goal today.
      My brother…..lets be truthful to ourselves….this team is absolute rubbish. They served us the typical NPFL football in this tournament and I’m sure scouts will be really disappointed in the Nigerian team. The fact that only our backline is worthy of mention says a whole lot.

  • This so-called Flying Eagles set upped their game a bit today, but this team is still far from the high standards of a classic Nigerian team. I agree the team should be totally overhauled, real 20 year olds or thereabouts with silky skills and technical depth fused in – with a good number of current team members making way.

    Having said that, I must admit the young Malian keeper won it for them. He had sharper reflexes and more positioning intelligence. His confidence between the sticks intimidated the penalty takers which made the last player hit the bar.

    Anyway, thank God they qualified for the age grade FIFA world cup. It’s time to bring in a real Under 20 team – young with brilliant play and transitioning and deadly strikers.

  • Charles 3 years ago

    Am enjoying Enugu Rangers here in Sfax, good football from these lads,highly impressed and few foreigners in the team. Our U20 coached still need to be coached, rubbish old players hope they get few more younger players cos all these old men me no wan understand them

  • Congratulations to the Flying Eagles of Nigeria. The main aim for them – for this tournament – was to qualify for the World Cup in Poland. This they have done and for this I am grateful.

    For all the allegations of age-cheating the clouded over the players, they soared high to ensure that Nigeria flag will fly yet again in another age-grade tournament.

    Over-age or not, the purpose of these kind of tournament is to unearth fresh legs for the Super Eagles – however far these legs will go….

    I remember when an under-21 side (I think coached by Amuneke) failed to qualify for this same tournament in 2016, the allegation then was that ” the boys were too young”.

    Amuneke’s all conquering Under-17 side were said to have been “promoted too early” as they fell to Sudan 4:3 at home to crash out 5:5 on away goals rules.

    Aighohun would not make the same mistake!

    Well done o jare! If you win, your players are to old; if you lose, they are too young. Na wa o.

    • Adisboy 3 years ago

      Deo, your not getting the argument. We are not disappointed that they lost, we are disappointed by the apparent lack of quality which relates to a missed opportunity to expose genuienly young exciting players. Even though Amuneke’s team lost out in the qualifiers, we are starting to reap the benefits of team he assembled, e.g. Osimhen, Chukwueze, Okonkwo, Micheal, Nwakali etc. This team played without intelligence and only intelligent players develop into top players, the rest are average. The team needs a complete overhall maybe with just academy and foreign based players because this team is going nowhere fast.

      • I think it’s a bit harsh shah to say ‘the team played without intelligence’.

        This team, in your words, are going nowhere fast yet they are going to Poland (I think you meant these set of players are not going to amount to much – another pretty harsh indictment).

        But, we are all entitled to our views shah….

    • Greenturf 3 years ago

      Nice one deo

    • Dr. Drey 3 years ago

      Hahahhahaaha….even though you try to hide it….your disappointment is as glaring as the sun at 12noon during summer. Your tone says it all. Just admit it. This team of old men were crappy for most part of the show. Just like you, I’ll only take solace in the fact that the qualified for the world cup and that at least Ikuowem has seen enough competitions and international exposure to immediately make the step in to SE having played in the CCL, CHAN as well as this “U20” AFCON.

    • It so funny and worrisome that you are justifying illegality, mediocrity, and unfairness with the below “average display cum success” such illegality has produced. So, because Amuneke used relatively ( I say relatively because some of the players may even be above 20 years) young players to prosecute under 20 qualifiers and did not qualify, it is now justifiable for Aigbogun to use vividly overage players to prosecute this years qualifiers. When would we as Nigerians start to denounce illegalities regardless of whose horse is gourd?
      Under 17 and under 20 championships are meant to develop players and not to achieve fleeting success that has no long term value. Have you considered the number of Amuneke’s players that have began to find their feet in Europe? Or don’t you think that Nigeria will soon begin to reap the reward of investing Amuneke’s young players? Do you even think that the overage players paraded by Aigbogun who can not trap ball will magically find themselves playing top flight football outside Nigeria. What is bad is bad and if we must made headway in Nigeria we all must start condemning illegality and mediocrity.

  • Players that could be coming in for the World Cup proper:

    Jayden Bennetts central midfielder Watford
    Keenan Bennett’s left wing Borussia Mochengladbach
    Nnamdi Oforborh Central Midfield Bournemouth
    Tobi Omole leftback Arsenal
    Tom Dele-Bashiru central midfield Man City
    Yusuff Ojebode midfield West Brom

    Their clubs did not release them for this “non fifa” organised tournament

    • Adisboy 3 years ago

      Big D, don’t keep your hopes high on this as clubs could still withold players from FIFA youth tournaments. If we want them, we would have to get the clubs on our side.

    • Dr. Drey 3 years ago

      The clubs are inly obliged to release them 2 weeks before the world cup. Call all these blend with the team in 2 weeks, especially where none of them has played with the team previously…?

      • @Adisboy, The clubs cannot withold players from the national team for a fifa sanctioned tournament. The clubs will be sanctioned.
        @Dr Drey, Jayden Bennetts was released to train with the Flying Eagles in Abuja in January and trained with them. He was recalled for a Watford youth game and not allowed to participate in the AFCON tournament.

        The one’s mentioned are football pros and will be able to adapt, plus its not wholesale changes, not all six will make the squad and there will be others as well

        • Adisboy 3 years ago

          Big D, this only applies to senior tournaments not youth competitions. Remember Jordan Sancho in the last U17 World Cup? He was recalled from the tournament before the quarterfinals back to Dortmund from the England camp. Also the fact that the tournament starts mid May which is a crucial time for the clubs is tricky. You just have to reach an agreement with the clubs.

  • Greenturf 3 years ago

    Meanwhile our 2015 set of golden eaglets finished fourth in Africa playoffs but came back from Chile with the trophy who says it can’t happen again

  • Ayphillydegreat 3 years ago

    Congrats to the FlyingEagles for qualifying for U20 Fifa Mundial. That is the most important thing expected from this team. I said they will qualify for the WorldCup and I said I don’t see them winning this tournament. They have a very solid back line if only the coach can unearth more quality players in midfield and attack.

    The issue now is that most of Amunikes boys from the last set are already few months older than the required age for this years U20 WorldCup. However, I believe we can do better than the attackers we paraded in this tournament.

    The team as a whole is not bad, they dominate possessions, but the apparent quality in the final third is glaringly lacking. If that can be fixed with the various invitational tournaments like the Suwon and Toulon Coming up before the WorldCup proper I think the team should be fine.

  • Uncle Josh, thanks for your contribution. I do condemn ” 1) illegality, 2) mediocrity, and 3) unfairness” as you put them however out of all those three variables only one is measurable (in my view) and that is illegality.

    The other two are subjective variables which are open to interpretation based on individual dispositions.

    Let’s tackle them one-by-one:
    1) Illegality: Apart from suspicions largely based on facial features, these successful under-20 side have not been convicted of age-cheat by any formal authority. In fact, opinions are still divided about this as some contributors believe they are true under-20. So, in the absence of hard fact, this successful under-20 side remain innocent (until proven guilty in any court) of age cheating. I think it’s a bit harsh to label them as “illegal” at this stage.

    2) Mediocrity: I don’t think there is universal agreement on what mediocrity means on this matter. You think celebrating the success of a team with allegations of age-cheat is mediocrity, some of us don’t share your view – each to his own I guess.

    3) Unfair: I think what is unfair is to slaughter the reputation of players who have not been convicted of age-cheating only because they look old. Needless to say you don’t agree with me.

    My guy, leave me to celebrate our qualification to the under-20 world cup in Poland. Feel free to focus on the fact that (you believe) the players are significantly older than they claim. You do your thing; I ‘ll do mine.

    On the issue of Amuneke’s failed 2016 Under-20 squad, I was merely referencing the sentiments in some quarters at the time that the young men he used to prosecute the ill-fated campaign were fresh from under-17 football – perhaps he should have assembled a squad slightly older (yet below 20 years of age). These would have matched the physicality of their african opponents.

    The narrative all around is that “we are reaping the benefits of Manu Garba’s and Amuneke’s real under-17 and under-20 squads”.

    Yet, age-cheat allegations still hang over the likes of Taiwo Awoniyi and Uzoho whilst the likes of Iheanacho, Isaac Success and Nwakali endure torrent of criticisms almost at a regular basis.

    Okay o.

    Anyways, have a pleasant day bro; enough said.

    • Mr. deo, I understand your position and your counter arguments against my position about this team. You and I know the level of performance an average golden eaglet or flying eagles team should produce anytime they are selected to represent Nigeria. Nigerian football fans have come to expect nothing less! I believe that is how it should be. To me, this means, standardizing our performance and bench-marking it against the performance of cadet and youth teams from Brasil, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, Germany, and more recently England (who have decided to start bringing their best youth players to FIFA youth championships).
      It is true that without hard facts, accusations of overage and unfairness against this team and the coach is inappropriate. But we know ourselves (at least, as Nigerians and Africans). Did you take time to critically compare every single player in this flying eagles team with players from Mali, South Africa, and Senegal. You may say facial appearance and physique are subjective factors for determining age. But you will agree with me that MRI test only approximates the age of an individual. As Nigerians and Africans we know when a person is older than 20 years, regardless of the amount of training or stress that individual may have passed through.
      When a player has played for two or more years in the Nigerian domestic premier league and that player is being portrayed as under 20, then, the question is at what age did that player start playing in the Nigerian domestic league. Like I said in my response to your previous post, we Nigerians must start speaking against illegality. That is how it is done in developed nations. If we want to achieve greatness, we must shun mediocrity and illegality. If illegality brings fleeting results that should not be a reason to support it.
      A good coach will always uncover raw talents, especially at under 17 and under 20 levels. I did not see that trait manifesting in Aigbogun and his flying eagles team. Those of us who have complained are not saying we are not glad Nigeria qualified for the tournament proper. What we are sad about is the manner in which the qualification was achieved. We are looking at the tournament proper and how this team will measure at the world stage. A team that kept playing kick and pursue or what you call police football, should make you worry. This was what this flying eagles played in this qualifying series and I can’t approve of it. If a team plays directionless football, it is the fault of the coach. This is why I refuse to cut Aigbogun a slack.

    • I understand your point.

  • Thanks Uncle Josh for taking the time to reply to my post. As long as Nigeria continues not to have a robust central database where the date of birth of all citizens can be cross-checked, then it will difficult to eliminate age-cheating from football (or any walk of life).

    All we can do is hope that the coaches and administrators select players they believe are truly under 20.

    I believe some age-related documents can be verified but these are not widespread.

    I am just fatigued by this argument of age-cheat (for the past 30+ years) that I want to just enjoy the football. For those who feel that passionate about it let them continue banging the drum. If I am accused of perpetuating mediocrity simply because I fail to label players cheats without seeing the outcome on any formal investigation on the matter, then so be it!

    We all want out football to develop. Happily, I have seen tremendous development in our football over the years across genders despite these allegation of age-cheating.