Ivory Coast Beat Nigeria On Penalties To Win African U17 Championship

Posted On Sunday, 28th April 2013

Ivory Coast celebrating their first African U17 Championship.

Ivory Coast celebrating their first African U17 Championship.

Ivory Coast clinched a first-ever CAF U17 Championship Sunday when they defeated Nigeria 5-4 on penalties after full-time scores were 1-1. 

Chidiebere Nwakali failed to convert Nigeria’s second penalty during the shootout to deny the Eaglets a third continental trophy after triumphs in 2001 and 2007.

The Malian referee, Keita Mahamadou,  made several questionable calls against Nigeria in this West African derby.

It will also be the second time the Ivorians will defeat the Nigeria U17s as they also stopped them 1-0 in a Group B match.The Eaglets looked like they would avenge this loss when they took the lead after eight minutes through central defender Izu Omego.

Omego shot home off a corner by Nwakali.

However, the Ivorians fought back to draw level in the 27th minute through France-based Bile Bedia.

Omego turned from hero to zero when he was sent off in the 74th minute for a deliberate elbow and the Eaglets were forced to play a man short for the rest of the game.

Kelechi Iheanacho failed to connect Nwakali’s free kick deep inside the Ivorian box in the 38th minute as Nigeria tried to regain their lead.

At the restart of the game, Musa Yahaya drove right into the Baby Elephants vital area only to crash his shot against the side netting.

Eaglets goalkeeper Adeyinka Adewale was forced to make a big saved after Chelsea youth player Bekanty Angban produced a goal-bound glancing header in the 52nd minute.

Tournament top scorer with seven goals Isaac Success then failed to make the most of substitute Ahmed Umar’s corner in 87th minute, when he had only the goalkeeper to beat.

Tunisia also beat hosts Morocco after a penalty shootout to finish third at the biennial championship.

All four teams will represent Africa at the FIFA U17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in October.