African Games: Flying Eagles qualify for finals in Morocco

The Nigeria U-20 team, the Flying Eagles, have qualified for the final of the football event at the ongoing African Games in Morocco.

The Flying Eagles went the whole mile before they could defeat their counterparts from Mali 5-4 on penalties.

Both teams had fired blanks over 120 minutes before Nigeria prevailed in the ensuing penalty kicks.

Tuesday’s victory is perfect revenge for coach Paul Aigbogun’s men who were edged out in the semi-final stage of the African Youth Championships by the same Malian team earlier in the year.

To get to this stage in Morocco, the Flying Eagles drew with Burkina Faso (1-1) and Morocco (2-2) and defeated South Africa (2-1) to reach the last four at this tournament.

This will be the first time Nigeria will play the final match in the African Games since their 0-1 loss to Algeria in 1978.

Aside from the gold medal of the football event won on home soil in 1973 in Lagos, the football gold has been elusive for Nigeria ever since.

Interestingly, the Nigeria U-20 female team, the Falconets, also thrashed their counterparts from Algeria 3-0 on Monday to qualify for the final of the football event at the ongoing African Games in Morocco.

Cynthia Aku scored two first-half goals before Zainab Olapade added another much later to take Nigeria closer to winning a third gold medal in women football at the African Games.

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