Nigeria beat Mozambique to reach Under-20 AFCON quarter-finals

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The Flying Eagles beat Mozambique 2-0 in Ismailia on Saturday to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The Nigerian under-20 male side scored two sumptuous goals in the first-half through Samson Lawal and Ibrahim Muhammad to secure second place in Group A.

The record seven-time champions of the competition thus moved to six points while Senegal top the group with nine points following their 4-0 thumping of hosts Egypt in Cairo.

The Nigerians dominated possession at Suez Canal Stadium in Ismailia and it came as no surprise when they sealed the comfortable victory at full-time.

Muhammad tested the Mozambican goalkeeper with a speculative shot from distance after five minutes to demonstrate the intentions of the Flying Eagles.

Kimiss Zavala was well positioned to gather the effort as the Young Os Mambas weathered the early Flying Eagles’ pressure.

They continued to pile pressure on Mozambique with Haliru Sarki and Muhammad providing width to the Nigerian attack.

The Nigerians created half-chances through Sarki whose half-volley came off a Mozambican defender after 20 minutes.

Zavala also pulled a smart one-handed save to deny Ayuba Abubakarr from giving the Flying Eagles the lead.

Also, the lively Muhammad played in Abubakarr who controlled the ball with his back to goal before firing straight at Zavala who made himself big.

Nigeria broke the deadlock through Lawal after 32 minutes with a stupendous strike from distance to beat the helpless Zavala.

The forward latched on to a quick interchange of passes between full-back Augustine Njoku and Sarki before beating Zavala with a powerful strike.

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The Flying Eagles doubled their lead four minutes before half-time through Muhammad’s sumptuous strike from outside the area.

Muhammad Aminu cut in from the left to release the Cartagena FC striker who had a touch to set himself up before beating Zavala to make it 2-0.

The second half was an even contest with Mozambique playing on the break while Nigeria rang changes to give playing time to other members of the squad.

Substitute Jude Sunday saw his ferocious effort turned over by the busy Zavala 10 minutes into the second half.

Another Nigerian substitute, Olamilekan Adams, forced a save from Zavala as Ladan Bosso’s charges pushed more men forward.

The Young Os Mambas’ only real opportunity came late on through substitute Jose Rabelina Zavala close range effort.

The Flying Eagles join Senegal in the quarter-finals of the competition, while Egypt and Mozambique crash out. (NAN)(

Edited by Olawale Alabi

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