Nigeria has lost the 2017 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations ticket to Sudan.
The Flying Eagles lost on away goals rule, following a 3-4 loss to 10-man the Young Falcons of Sudan.
It was a sad day for the reigning African champions at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, as they failed to maximise their first leg 2-1 victory in Omdurman, leaving Sudan to advance after the two-legged game had ended 5-5 on aggregate.
Samuel Chukwueze opened the scoring for the Emmanuel Amuneke-piloted side in the 19th minute, while the visitors equalised through Amjad Ahmed, before Funsho Bamgboye restored Nigeria’s lead in the 26th minute.
The Young Falcons barely two minutes left in the first half, drew parity through Halid Abdamuleem and went ahead to take the lead in the game for the first time through Walaadih Musa in the 56th minute.
Orji Okonkwo equalised for Nigeria in the 67th minute but the effort was not good enough to see Nigeria through, as the Flying Eagles conceded an own goal seven minutes from time.
Meanwhile, first vice president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi has said the lads deserve to be encouraged ahead of future challenges.
“What happened is a sad development because we had prepared the team very well to qualify for the U-20 AFCON, but now that it has happened the other way round, we just have to encourage them and prepare them for future. We need to encourage these lads. So we at the NFF will keep them together and nurture them to become the Super Eagles in the nearest future,” Akinwunmi told Tribunesport after the game.
The players were applauded after the match while leaving the stadium despite the defeat as fans believed that they did their best.
Goalkeeper Akpan Udom cried like a baby while he was consoled by the former commissioner for sports in Ogun State, Bukola Olopade.