At the TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Burkina Faso defeated Nigeria 2-1 on Thursday to advance to the semi-finals and clinch Africa’s final open spot in the FIFA World Cup.
In the fiercely contested match, the Junior Stallions prevailed thanks to a brace from Aboubacar Camara. Burkina Faso got some sweet payback after losing to Nigeria by the same score in the WAFU Zone qualifying championship match.
The Golden Eaglets’ dreams of earning a record-extending 13th spot in the world championship as well as their pursuit of a third African championship were dashed, as Burkina Faso continued their pursuit of a second championship.
Nigeria will be left regretting their lost opportunities, particularly in the first half when they twice hit the woodwork, while the Stallions made the most of their opportunity.
Tochukwu Ogbabido’s pass gave Charles Agada a chance to score after one minute and 29 seconds, but the goalkeeper made an outstanding one-on-one save.
Abubakar Abdullahi’s rasping shot from the edge of the box greased the crossbar in the seventh minute, and Agada’s close-range attempt bounced off the upright at the quarter-hour mark.
Agada had another opportunity in the 37th minute when he broke through on the right, but the goalkeeper expertly blocked his attempt.
Burkina Faso picked up the pace in the closing five minutes of the half, and Camara’s attempt was blocked by Jeremiah Olaleke. But after Nigerian defender Tochukwu Ogboji erred with his clearance from inside the area four minutes later, Camara scored from close range to give them the lead.
Ten minutes into the second half, Burkina Faso extended their lead. Camara completed his hat trick from the penalty spot after Souleymane Alio was fouled by Ogboji inside the penalty box.
Nigeria stepped up their offensive attempts in the face of a two-goal deficit, and in the 67th minute, Abdullahi scored from close range after a cross from Emmanuel Michael, halving the deficit.
The Golden Eaglets increased their pressure in an effort to eke out a draw and extend the game’s scheduled 90 minutes. Replaceable Favor The goalkeeper stopped a curling free kick from Umar Abubakar for a corner while pushing Daniel’s looping header into the crossbar.
Nigeria made a concerted effort to change the game in their favor, but they were unable.
To face Senegal in the semifinals, Burkina Faso will now return to Annaba, where they competed in their group matches.