By Emmanuel Afonne
Nigeria’s Flying Eagles on Monday lost 0-1 to their Gambian counterparts in the semi-finals of the ongoing Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
The match which was played at the Cairo International Stadium saw the Nigerian side dominating the encounter with 62 per cent possession as against the Gambians’ 38 per cent.
But they failed to hit target, and have consequently paid for it by missing out on the final match for an attempt at a record eighth title win.
The Flying Eagles were too casual with play in the opening minutes of the game and were eventually punished for it after seven minutes.
That was when Adama Bojang capitalised on a loose ball from a misdirected header in Nigeria’s defence to score.
The Nigerian team did step up their play after going behind, dominating ball possession, creating all the dangerous plays, and putting the Young Scorpions on the back foot.
But the poor connection between the wingers and the strikers made it difficult for the team to equalise, even with Gambia playing with 10 men for few minutes before the end of the game.
Earlier, Senegal had thrashed Tunisia 3-0 to reach the final match of the competition in the other semi-final match at the Suez Canal Authority Stadium in Ismailia.
The Teranga Cubs won the semi-final match emphatically after beating the Young Carthage to secure their place in the final.
Two goals from new FC Metz recruit Lamine Camara and a sumptuous strike by Pape Diop were enough to send Senegal to the final.
The three-time runners-up will now face The Gambia in the final on Saturday.
The final match is scheduled to take place at the Cairo International Stadium.