The Flying Eagles of Nigeria continued their fine form as they prepare for the Africa Youth Championship (AYC) coming up next month in Senegal.
After playing a 2-2 draw with their Ghanian counterpart on Monday, the Flying Eagles showed class as they ease past the Ghana U20 0-2 in a second friendly played on Wednesday.
Like it was in the first match, Wednesday’s match was one of two halves – the Ghana Black Satellites dominated the first half and the Flying Eagles bossed the second half to make the most of their chances and win the game.
“We had a much better second half after our pep talk at half time. It was also a better performance for my team than what we showed in the first match,” praised Flying Eagles coach Manu Garba.
“Ghana too are a very good team and I tip them to go past Group B at the AYC.”
Ghana coach Silas Tetteh said the Flying Eagles are a very good team who gave his team a very good test.
“They are a compact team who showed very good understanding meaning they have been playing together for some time now. It was good to play against such a team,” he said.
“But despite the fact that we lost, we also gave a good account of ourselves as we finalise our preparations for the championship."
Skipper Musa Muhammed put away a penalty in the 70th minute after a Ghana defender handled the ball inside his box.
Substitute Ifeanyi Matthew doubled the Flying Eagles lead in stoppage time, when he finished off a flowing attack with a powerful shot from the top of the box.
First-half sub Bernard Bulwa ought to have given Nigeria the lead after 65 minutes when he beat the offside trap by Ghana and came face-to-face with goalkeeper Muntawakilu Seidu, who blocked the winger’s shot at point-blank range.
Bulbwa also threw away another clear-cut chance in stoppage time after Wasiu Jimoh’s long ball found Taiwo Awoniyi, who set up the dribbling winger.
Nigeria’s other big opening was in the 67th minute, when Ifeanyi Ifeanyi’s shot from inside the box came off the post.
However, the first half belonged to Ghana, who made wholesale changes to the squad who played the first game on Monday as coach Tetteh said he wanted to see as many players as possible before the team fly out on a training tour of Turkey on Friday.
The sustained pressure on the Flying Eagles was underlined by the fact that they recorded four bookings in the first half – Usman Hassan 29th minute, Musa Yahaya 31st minute, Abdulganiyu Saed 33rd minute and Izu Omego 45th minute.
Flying Eagles XI v Ghana:
Olorunleke Ojo – Musa Muhammed, Samuel Okon, Izu Omego, Abdulganiyu Saed – Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, Akinjide Idowu (Wasiu Jimoh 82), Obinna Nwobodo, Musa Yahaya (Ifeanyi Matthew 51) – Taiwo Awoniyi, Usman Hassan (Bernard Bulbwa 39) (Alhassan Ibrahim 90)