U-17 Africa Cup of Nations: Nigeria, Morocco win in Group B opener

Favour Daniel’s goal in the second half handed Nigeria a positive start at the TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Algeria 2023, after seeing off Zambia 1-0 at the Mohamed Hamloui Stadium in Constantine on Sunday.

Despite a late penalty miss by Light Eke, the Golden Eaglets managed to see off the slim advantage to move top of Group B after their opening match.

It was a well fought contest from both sides, but on the balance of chances, Nigeria could have had more from the evening kick off.

Abubakar Abdullahi thought he had scored the opener after 13 minutes but he was flagged offside, while TochukwuOgbabido had a rasping shot from the edge of the box go inches over.

Six minutes to the break, the Nigerians had a glorious chance when Hope Linus sent skipper Precious Samwel through on goal with a brilliant through ball, but the Zambian keeper’s trailing leg deflected the ball against the upright.

Three minutes on the turn Zambia were also denied by the woodwork, this time Emmanuel Mwanza’s curling effort coming off against the crossbar.

In the second half, Zambia were better off and commanded more of the possession. They had a good chance in the 71st minute when substitute Obvious Mwaliteta sent StainlyNyamikwe through on goal, but the Katter saw his effort well saved by the keeper.

Five minutes on the turn though, Zambia found themselves trailing. Daniel was left isolated inside the box after the ball was recycled in from a cleared corner, and the forward made no mistake beating the keeper.

They should have scored the second in the 89th minute from the penalty spot after Abubakar Abdullahi was brought down inside the box, but substitute Eke saw his tame penalty saved.

Meanwhile, second half goals from skipper Abdelhamid Ait Bouldal and substitute Adam Hanin saw Morocco beat South Africa 2-0 at the Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium in Constantine on Sunday.

With the victory, Morocco have moved top of Group B ahead of Nigeria with a better goal aggregate.

The Young Bafana Bafana would feel undone by the result having conceded from a penalty and the second after the keeper clashed with his own defender as he went for a cross.

South Africa had the biggest share of chances, in a tight and closely contested tie.

The Moroccans will next face off with Nigeria in a top of Group B clash. – CAFOnline

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