Hosts Niger exited the Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations following a 1-0 defeat against neighbours Nigeria on Friday at the Stade General Seyni Kountche in Niamey.
The young Mena lost their last Group A match to record U-20 champions Nigeria’s Flying Eagles in front of their vocal home supporters.
Nigeria who finished as group winners with seven points snatched the three points 17 minutes before time courtesy of Nazifi Yahaya’s wonder goal.
The hosts needed a win to stand a chance of making the last four and qualifying for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland but they were denied by Nigeria who needed just a point to confirm their place.
Backed by a ferocious home crowd the Mena pushed the Flying Eagles all the way but failed to hit the target with news coming through from Maradi confirmed South Africa was leading Burundi.
Ismaïla Tiémoko’s were a delight to watch despite going out in the first hurdle with their all attacking display which has earned the support of their compatriots who trek to the Stade General Seyni Kountche on when they’re in action.
“The boys did very well but unfortunately it wasn’t enough today against Nigeria. We’re very proud of their overall performance in the Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations.” A sad looking young Ibrahim Bello told cafonline.com
They will rue the match against Burundi when they gave away a 3-1lead to draw 3-3 with seventeen minutes from time.
The Flying Eagles of Nigeria and South Africa’s Amajita have booked their place in the last four and the World Cup in Poland.