NIGERIA’S Flying Eagles have been knocked out of the ongoing U20 World Cup in Poland after suffering a 1-2 loss at the hands of Senegal last night despite dominating possession and having loads of scoring chances.
In a feature that has dominated the play of the team throughout the tournament, the Flying Eagles had the lion share of possession but were toothless in the final third yesterday. With a not so assured defence and a nervous goalkeeper, the team went down 0-2 before rallying in the second half but despite its domination, was unable to level the game.
A combination of poor finishing in front of goal and a porous defence led to the Flying Eagles being two goals down by half time. First-half goals from Amadou Sagna and Ibrahima Niane put the young Lions of Teranga ahead in the 36th and 45th minutes, with Aniekeme Okon’s 50th minute goal only serving as a consolation.
Coach Paul Aigbogun has accepted responsibility for the loss, part of which was down to him not starting Manchester City’s Tom Dele-Bashiru. However, he suggested that his ream achieved their pre-tournament target of reaching the last 16 of the World Cup.
Mr Aigbogun said: “Obviously I’m disappointed but also proud of the play. It was team decision not to field Dele-Bashiru as we decided he will come in the second half. He was ready to play.”
“We put a lot of pressure on Senegal in the second half but sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. We wanted to go further but the last 16 was the first target and I think we showed one or two players who had ability and it’s most important.”