Nigeria’s Eaglets on Wednesday inched closer to the 2019 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations finals billed for Tanzania with their 2-1 win over hosts, Niger Republic, in a keenly contested match at the General Seyni Kountche Stadium, Niamey.
They will now take on the Black Starlets of Ghana on Saturday also in Niamey.
It was a sweet revenge for the five-time world champions, as the Nigerien side had knocked out the Eaglets from the 2017 Africa Under-17 finals on a 3-2 aggregate.
That was when the home-and-away leg contests still held sway in the African qualifiers.
Akinwumi Amoo set the pace with a superb finish from a pullout in the 45th minute while Olakunle Oluwasegun, who was later named “Man of the Match,’’ continued with his scoring streak with another magnificent strike two minutes before the hour.
He had scored a goal in the 2-3 defeat of Burkina Faso in their opening match and another in the 5-1 thrashing of Cote d’Ivoire last week.
The home team pulled a goal back later on but the Eaglets held on to qualify for the final match against Ghana.
The Ghanaians had earlier defeated Cote d’Ivoire in the first semi-final match played at the same venue.
The finals of the 2019 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations will hold in Tanzania.
Following a change in the old format, countries in each of Africa’s six football regions now gather in one venue to take part in qualifying tournaments.
Only the winning teams are now eligible for the final tournament, with the region of the defending champions producing two qualifiers.