Nigeria’ Eaglets Hold Guinea At U-17 Tourney

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets needed a late strike from the penalty spot from skipper Kelechi Nwakali to rescue a point against 10-man Guinea as both sides kept alive their hopes of progression at the CAFU17 championship match in Niamey.

Sam Diallo put Guinea ahead of Nigeria barely 13 minutes into the tie. Enterprising play by Diallo, Abdoul Karim Conte and Yamodou Toure was a handful for the Nigerian back-line anchored around Abbas Usman and Zakaria Halilu, who brought down Toure in the box and referee Jean Jacques Ngsmbo had no option but to point to the spot.

Guinea could have added to their advantage but wasted chances through Diallo and exciting playmaker Karim Conte in a first half the Nigerians hardly threatened.

The Eaglets went into the second half with renewed energy and could have levelled through Kingsley Michael but his effort in the box failed.

Efforts from Kelechi, Victor Osimeh and Christian Charles were well saved by Guinea goalie Moussa Camara, a darling of the crowd with his acrobatic movements.

But there was nothing Camara could do when Kelechi stepped up to convert from the spot and level matters with only three minutes remaining on the clock, and Guinea skipper Moussa Soumah having been sent off after a second yellow card.

Both sides, on four points each from two games, now have to wait for their final group games to determine the semi-finalists; spots which come with the incentive of a place at the 2015 FIFA Under-17 World Cup finals to be hosted by Chile in October this year.

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