Nigeria’s Under-17 team, Golden Eaglets yet recorded another 3-0 win against Dabo Babes Football Club of Kano in a hard-fought game played on Saturday at the Abraham Ordia Stadium inside the University of Calabar.
Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze scored two lovely goals while Abdulrazak Sani of Dabo Babes conceded an own goal as the Emmanuel Amuneke tutored side sealed their 23rd win in 27matches.
Parading the duo of Mustapha Salisu and Nazifi Yahaya who were part of the National Under-15 that won the soccer gold medal at the last All African Youth Games in Botswana, Dabo Babes started the game strongly and Shurubak Dauda nearly put them in the lead as early as the sixth minute but Eaglets’ goalkeeper Ebuka Nwokoecha held firmly to his shot after he had disposed Halilu Zakari of the ball.
Osimhen, however, opened the Eaglets’ goal account in the 16th minute when he jabbed the ball behind goalkeeper Muhammad Ismail t from a pullout from right winger, Promise Orji. Osimhen could have added another goal but he wasted the golden chance in front of an empty goalpost as he placed the ball wide off the mark after robbing the ball off onrushing Ismail.
Yet the Eaglets mounted further pressure and the measure of their spirited effort was there for all to see when Dabo Babes’ hardworking captain, Abdulrazak Sani, put the ball into his own net off a pull out meant for Osimhen from Kehinde Ayinde. Some few minutes later, Ismail was at his best again when a goal-bound shot by Orji was parried away into safety.
Both sides made few changes on resumption in the second half but there was little or no excitement until the 80th minute when the adventurous Chukwueze broke loose in his typical fashion and nut-egged not less than three opposing defenders before slicing an angular shot beyond the reach of Ismail yet again.
“The Golden Eaglets pounced on us like lions and they showed how good they are with the way they played against us,” exclaimed Dabo Babes’ coach Umar Sale. “But we are happy we were able to make this trip since it has exposed our players to the national team selectors and I think a player like Dauda, our number 10 players would be good for the Golden Eaglets too.”