By Ebenezer Bajela and Abiodun Adewale.
Following their 1-0 defeat to Morocco in their second group game of the ongoing CAF U-17 AFCON in Algeria, Golden Eaglets coach, Nduka Ugbade, has tasked his players to be more clinical and ruthless in front of goal as they go into the run-in for a quarter-final spot.
A win against Morocco would have secured a quarter-final slot for the Eaglets, but they were undone by a second-minute Tochukwu Ogboji own goal, which handed Morocco progression into the knockout stage, with the Nigerians having to battle South Africa for the next available slot.
Just like their first game against Zambia, the Eaglets enjoyed better possession with 64 per cent of the ball and 27 shots, but their dominance failed to hand them the win.
“It does happen in football. It is not a strange thing, but it is important to correct and ensure we are more efficient in front of goal,” Ugbade said.
“Everything worked absolutely well. We controlled the game, but tactically Morocco controlled the outcome. We made some few mistakes as well, but we created so many chances, and the only problem is that we couldn’t score.”
Nigeria remain second in Group B with three points and just ahead of their next opponent, South Africa, on goals difference. Both countries will meet in their last group game on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Young Bafana Bafana head coach, Duncan Crowie, says his team will target a point in their last Group B game against Nigeria as they seek to move to the next round in Algeria.
Following their defeat to Morocco in the opening game of the tournament, the South Africans bounce back with a 3-2 win over Zambia on Wednesday.
“Nothing is done yet. This is a tough group and anything can happen. We still have work to do but at least now we have a win to work with. We will just need a draw in that match to get through,” the coach told CAFOnline.