TOURNAMENTS

UNDER-17 AFCON: ANGOLA EDGE OUT NIGERIA FOR BRONZE

Nigeria failed to secure a third place finish at the 2019 Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations in Tanzania.

The five-time world champions were bested by Angola, who despite being reduced to 10 men in the second half, claimed an impressive 2-1 victory.

Nigeria coach Manu Garba made three changes to the side that lost out on penalties to Guinea, including handing a first start of the tournament to right-back Charles Etim. Winger Akinkunmi Amoo continued to struggle with an ankle injury and was named on the bench.

The game, played in a largely empty National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, saw Angola take the lead in the 28th minute. Forward Capita strengthened his push for the tournament Golden Boot, peeling off his marker to head home at the far post from David Nzanza’s cross.

It took his tally to four in the competition.

That advantage was short-lived, however, as two minutes later, Nigeria leveled. Wisdom Ubani looked like he had given himself too much to do with his first touch from an awkward Olatomi Olaniyan pass. Length of limb, however, salvaged the situation; the lanky n.9 poking beyond the advancing Edmilson Cambila.

The score stayed level till after the break, and as in the first, it was Angola who began the brighter of the two sides. They were duly rewarded with what would prove the winner four minutes after the restart.

Mimo Inacio Tome’s strong run from defence seemed to surprise the Nigeria back line, and he slipped a fine through ball to the lively Zito Luvumbo. The winger, who has been one of the stars of the tournament, had enough time to steady himself, before firing high into the roof the net.

Just before the hour mark, midfielder Porfirio Abrantes was dismissed for a second bookable offence, an infraction that put Angola’s lead in major jeopardy.

However, despite the man advantage, Nigeria was unable to come back into the game or force a third penalty shoot-out in the competition.

The match was a repeat of the second Group A meeting from earlier in the tournament, which Nigeria won 1-0.

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