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WAFU U17

Nigeria face tough challenge in WAFU B U17 AFCON qualifying tournament kicks off

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Defending champions Nigeria gear up for a daunting task as they head into WAFU B U17 AFCON qualifying tournament that starts in Ghana on Wednesday.

Hosts Ghana kick-off the competition as they headline Group A where they are joined by tough contenders Cote d’Ivoire and Benin.

The Black Starlets, buoyed by home support, aim to showcase their prowess and secure a berth in the U17 AFCON finals.

As the tournament kicks off on Wednesday, all eyes will be on the opening clash between hosts Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire at the Legon Stadium in Accra.

Led by former international star Laryea Kingston, Ghana seeks to set the tone for a successful campaign on home soil.

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Drawn in Group B alongside formidable opponents Burkina Faso, Togo, and Niger, title holders Nigeria face a stern test to retain their crown.

The Golden Eaglets clinched the WAFU B U17 AFCON title in 2022 after a hard-fought victory over Burkina Faso in the regional final.

However, their journey to defend their title won’t be easy, with familiar rivals Togo and Niger also standing in their path.

With Burkina Faso boasting a strong performance in the last  U17 Africa Cup of Nations, finishing third, anticipation is high for thrilling encounters in Group B.

Nigeria will need to bring their A-game to navigate through this challenging group and secure a spot in next year’s U17 AFCON.

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Thursday’s fixtures will see Burkina Faso locking horns with Nigeria, while Togo battle Niger in Group B encounters.

With a spot in the U17 AFCON at stake, the WAFU B qualifying tournament promises excitement and drama as teams vie for supremacy from 15th to 28th May.

Groups:

Group A: Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin

Group B: Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Togo, Niger.

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CAF

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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WAFU U17

WAFU B U17 Championship: Eaglets to go to Togo match with three points in mind, says Manu Garba

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Coach Manu Garba has reiterated that Nigeria’s U17 boys will go for a win in Wednesday’s group B final encounter in Accra even though a draw will be good enough to see the five-world champions through to the semi finals.

“We are not here to be drawing matches. I am not happy that we drew our first match against Burkina Faso. We should have scored a number of goals especially towards the end but we cannot be crying over spilt milk.

“We got the three points against Niger Republic, and we have to keep at the winning mentality. We cannot afford to gamble; a win is what we are going for. Even though they lost their first two matches, we cannot afford to under-rate the Togolese. They got two goals against Niger Republic, even though they eventually lost, so they are not a team to be taken for granted.”

Cup holders Golden Eaglets will finish top of the pile if they win against the Togolese at the Accra Sports Stadium and fellow group leaders Burkina Faso fail to get the better of Niger Republic at the University of Accra Stadium in games that will be played simultaneously.

Victory for Nigeria, and draw or defeat for the Burkinabes, will mean the Eaglets avoid in-form Black Starlets of Ghana, who are expected to top group A, in the last-four confrontations.

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WAFU U17

WAFU B U17 Championship: 10-man Eaglets pip Niger Republic, go top with four points

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STAR-BOY: Nigeria captain Simon Cletus wins Player of the Match award, just as he did in the match against Burkina Faso on Day 1.

Nigeria joined Burkina Faso at the top of group B of the WAFU B U17 Championship after a lone goal defeat of Niger Republic at the University of Accra Stadium on Sunday.

Rapha Adams’ powerful header in the 31st minute was the difference between the two West African neighbours in a match that Nigeria played the final 27 minutes with 10 men after Chibuike Okorie was shown the red card.

Victory means the five-time world champions climbed to four points, same as Burkina Faso, ahead of the closing day of group B attrition on Wednesday when the Eaglets confront group whipping boys Togo at the Accra Sports Stadium, while Burkina Faso square up to three-pointer Niger Republic at the University of Accra Stadium.

A draw against the Togolese team on Wednesday will guarantee the Eaglets a place in the tournament’s semi finals.

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GROUP B RESULTS

Burkina Faso 0 Nigeria 0

Niger Rep 3 Togo 2

Togo 0 Burkina Faso 2

Nigeria 1 Niger Republic 0

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Ruthless Ghana begin WAFU B U17 campaign with 5-1 win over Cote d’Ivoire

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Ghana’s U17 team, the Black Starlets, kicked off their campaign in the 2024 WAFU Zone B U17 Championship with an emphatic 5-1 win over Cote d’Ivoire on Wednesday. 


Led by former international star Laryea Kingston, the Black Starlets showcased their talent and ambition, leaving fans at the edge of their seats at the University of Ghana Stadium in Accra.


From the opening whistle, Ghana asserted their dominance, with Joseph Narbi leading the charge with a superb brace in the first half. 


Narbi’s clinical finishing set the tone for Ghana’s attacking prowess, leaving Ivorians struggling to keep pace despite the early dominance of the visitors.


The Black Starlets continued their onslaught in the second half, as Godfred Srapong, Harve Gbafa, and Mark Kagawa each found the back of the net to seal a resounding victory for Ghana. 

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Despite Cote d’Ivoire’s valiant efforts to mount a comeback, Ghana’s relentless pressure proved too much to handle. 


Harve Gbafa’s towering header and Mark Kagawa’s exquisite curler epitomized the Black Starlets’ dominance, ensuring a memorable triumph on home soil.


With this commanding performance, Ghana’s chances of advancing to the next stage of the competition look promising. 


The Black Starlets have set the bar high with their scintillating victory, sending a clear message to their rivals in Group A – Cote d’Ivoire and Benin – that they mean business.


Looking ahead, defending champions Nigeria face a formidable challenge in Group B, where they will clash with Burkina Faso, Togo, and Niger. 

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With Burkina Faso’s impressive track record and Nigeria’s determination to defend their title, anticipation is high for thrilling encounters in the days to come.


Thursday’s fixtures promise more excitement as Burkina Faso takes on Nigeria, while Togo squares off against Niger in Group B battles. 

-CAF

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