Serengeti Boys lose to Nigeria in 2019 AFCON U-17 tourney opener     

15Apr 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Serengeti Boys lose to Nigeria in 2019 AFCON U-17 tourney opener     

TANZANIA’s U-17 football team, Serengeti Boys, have opened the AFCON U-17 championship on a wrong foot, losing 5-4 to Nigeria at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday.


Serengeti Boys put spirited performance throughout the match, they though, were undone by their skillful opponents that could have come out with a bigger win, if they had made the most of several opportunities that went their way.

Serengeti Boys' keeper Mwinyi Yahya had to come out of his comfort zone on the second minute to parry away a left foot effort by Nigeria striker Wisdom Ubani that had sped into the former's area.

Yahya, again, made a good save on the eighth minute to frustrate Nigeria left fullback Ogaga Oduke that had been set up by team mate within the former's box.

Nigeria went 1-0 up on the 20th minute as Olatomi Olaniyan slammed in a rebound after keeper Yahya had punched an effort by the former's team mate within the area.

Forward Edmund John levelled matters for Serengeti Boys a minute later in which he coolly slotted home an assist by fellow striker Kelvin John.

Wisdom Ubani scored the second for Nigeria eight minutes later, as he controlled a good pass by team mate within Serengeti Boys’ area and beat Yahya with a left foot effort.

Ankikumi Amoo made it 3-1 for Nigeria on the 37th minute after he had collected a pass by team mate and beat Yahya. The first stanza ended with Nigeria leading 3-1.

Serengeti Boys found Nigeria’s back of the net on the 56th minute as a fierce 30 meter shot by John went in, leaving Nigeria keeper, Suleiman Shaibu, sprawling on the turf.

The hosts leveled matters a minute later through a penalty by skipper Maurice Michael. Serengeti Boys netted the fourth on the 58th minute as John made the most of a second penalty the squad won.

Nigeria drew level on the 72nd minute after a free kick by Ubani went into the net, much as keeper Yahya had attempted to punch the ball.

Abraham Jabbar registered the fifth for Nigeria on the 77th minute after he had got the better of Serengeti defenders and beat Yahya with a left foot effort. Serengeti Boys wasted two good opportunities during the added on time to leave Nigeria register a crucial win.

Serengeti Boys will then take on neighbours, Uganda, on Wednesday in a match the former needs to win if they are to stay within reach of a last four place in the showpiece.

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