Nigeria: Golden Eaglets Stumble in Wafu B U17 Championship Opener

Abdulmuiz Oladimeji, Rapha Adams, and captain Simon Cletus all missed promising goal-scoring chances on Thursday

The Nigeria U-17 team, the Golden Eaglets, got their title defence in the WAFU B U17 Championship off to a disappointing start, as they were forced to a 0-0 result against Burkina Faso at the University of Ghana Stadium on Thursday.

Coach Manu Garba's team dominated possession but struggled to capitalise on their opportunities. A heavy downpour further complicated matters, turning the field into a muddy mess during the second half.

The first half was tense, with both teams creating opportunities but failing to find the back of the net.

This pattern continued after the break, with the Eaglets even hitting the crossbar in stoppage time.

Players like Abdulmuiz Oladimeji, Raphael Adams, and captain Simon Cletus, all had promising chances to score but couldn't make the breakthrough.

This result comes as a surprise considering the Eaglets' pedigree. The five-time world champions enjoyed a dominant run to glory in another Ghanaian city, Kumasi, two years ago. However, they faltered at the Africa U17 Cup of Nations in Algeria, missing out on qualification for the World Cup in Indonesia.

The Eaglets will need to improve their finishing if they want to retain their WAFU B title. Their next challenge comes on Sunday, 19 May, when they take on the Niger Republic at the University Stadium (6 p.m. Ghana time, 7 p.m. Nigeria time).

Their final group stage match will be against Togo on Wednesday, 22 May, at the Accra Sports Stadium (4 pm Ghana time, 5 pm Nigeria time).

While this opening draw is a setback, there are reasons for optimism, as the Nigerian team displayed promise in their pre-tournament preparation, winning six, drawing two, and losing just one of their nine friendly matches.

They need to rediscover that form and sharpen their finishing if they want to progress in the competition.

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