Posted On Wednesday, 17th April 2013
Nigeria were brought back to earth at the Africa U17 Championship on Wednesday when they were stunned 1-0 by Ivory Coast to throw Group B wide open.
The Flying Eaglets, who were seen as tournament favourites having thrashed Ghana 6-1 on Sunday, were handed the bitter pill with just minutes remaining.
The Ivorians left it late to snatch the goal that gave them the victory that helped them to leap-frog their opponents on the standings in Group B.
Nigeria, who were loud-mouthed about their chances were stunned by a 90th minute goal scored by Dogbole Niangbo.
The encounter played in Marrakech was heading for a goalless draw just about due deserves for both sides, when Niangbo profited from a defensive mistake to score.
The events that led to the goal saw a Nigeria defender fail to stay on his feet while chasing a clearance and as he fell the Ivorian player quickly sent a long ball into the box which the keeper Adeyinka Adewale did not deal with and as the Nigerians tried to stop Kouassi Begbin scoring he squared for Niangbo to slot home
Nigeria and Cote d’ Ivoire had up until then played an evenly balanced tough encounter in which both teams seemed to have done enough homework on each other.
There were few clear cut chances in the match as the two West Africans sides cancelled each other out.
The Nigerians hit the woodwork twice through Bernard Bulbwa and Success Isaac during one of the periods they threatened but at the other end the Ivorians also went close.
Paul Bakayoko‘s back kick rattled the cross bar, hitting the ground before bouncing back into play at the start of the second half.
Other than that the strikers were hardly given any sniff of goal as both sides put up a master-class in defending, that was up until the stumble and fall that brought about the only goal of the match.
The victory takes Cote d’Ivoire to four (4) points with the last group game against Ghana still to come on Saturday while Nigeria who started the day on top of the standings in Group B remain on three (3) points and face Congo in their last Group game.