Saturday, August 20, 2016 11:29 pm
Nduka Ugbade, the Golden Eaglets’ Assistant Coach, on Saturday lamented over the 2-3 loss of the National U-17 team to the Junior Menas of Niger.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Golden Eaglets on Saturday lost 1-3 (3-2 aggr.) to Niger in the second leg of the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON ) Qualifiers in Niamey.
Striker Sidibe Assoumanu gave the host the lead in the 36th minute with a pile drive just outside the box that beat a poorly positioned goalkeeper Adeleye Adebayo.
Usman Musa Babalolo got the equalizer with a header barely a minute to the end of first half.
The second half began with much drama as the Camerounian referee Henry Duvalier Mouandjou Kalla gave the host a freaky penalty in the 48th minute, which was converted by Mamane Bello.
From then, it looked like Mountain Everest for the Eaglets to climb with repeated foul calls by the referee.
With minutes left to play, the host got yet another funny free kick just outside the box which was converted by Issaka Magaji.
A statement on the NFF website quoted Ugbade as saying, “This is a daylight robbery and cannot be defined in any other way because all the officials worked jointly and fully against Nigeria.
“What would the Nigeriens and the officials of the match be teaching their kids at home?
“In all my life in football, I have never seen this kind of drama but Nigerians would not be able to see the match as all our cameras were seized,” Ugbade was quoted as saying.
The statement also noted that it was a highly charged encounter full of drama.
“ The Nigeriens in the full glare of security threw caution to the wind as they wrestled and seized the video camera of NFF staff, Mallam Munir Tijjani Shittu.
“The NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, was not spared either in the VIP Box as he was badly assaulted, even in the presence of Nigerian diplomats led by the ambassador, Alhaji Abduljelil Sulaiman.” (NAN)