U17 AFCON: Nigeria fight back twice to edge South Africa


Nigeria came out on top in a thrilling contest at the Stade Mohamed-Hamlaoui in Constantine, securing a 3-2 victory over South Africa in their final Group B match of the 2023 U17 CAF Africa Cup of Nations.

By virtue of the victory, the Nigeria has qualiies for the quarter-final stage of the competition and will face the winner of the game between Cameroon and Burkina Faso, as both sides would face off, Sunday.



South Africa found the back of the net in the opening minutes of the game, in what seemed like a deja vu of Nigeria’s loss to Morocco in the previous game.

The Golden Eaglets reacted well to the goal, and a few moments after restarting the game, Abubakar Abdullahi had an opportunity to bring them level just seven minutes in, but his shot from close range was wide of the mark.

Charles Agada thought he had made it even three minutes later, but the goal was disallowed for an offside call.

Nigeria maintained their drive, and their hard work was rewarded when Charles Agada met the ball with an impressive header from a corner kick, levelling the score in the 35th minute.

The Eaglets continued to create chances but they would just not connect and so in the waning minutes of the first half, South Africa surged ahead with a goal from Siyabonga Nicolas Mabena, who was set up by Mkhawana.

The goal put the Amajimbo back in the lead.

The Nigerian U17 team, the Eaglets, had a newfound energy when the second half began.

In a mere minute, Light Eke, who had been impressive throughout, was able to level the score at 2-2, connecting Agada’s impressive run.

With only four minutes to go, Abdullahi connected with Emmanuel Michael’s pass, putting the Eaglets ahead for the first time in the match, and sparking joy and celebration from Nigerian fans in the stadium, back home in the country and abroad.

Ugbade’s boys continued to probe and Light Eke struck the crossbar after impressively creating space for himself to get a shot away which beat the goalkeeper, but found the woodwork instead of the target.

They would hold on to the lead as they managed the game properly without the Amajimbo creating a meaningful effort at goal.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here